Assessing a House: A Practical List for New Homebuyers

January 24, 2022


At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans looked for new places to live as they took advantage of low house prices and affordable mortgage rates. According to studies by the Pew Research Center, new home buyers in the United States shot up by over 2 million in 2020 alone. If you didn't take advantage of the mortgage rates, you might consider becoming a homebuyer this year.

However, buying a house is a process that requires a lot of careful consideration and deliberation. New homebuyers may often look for the wrong thing and ask incomplete questions. Below are five crucial factors you have to consider when looking at a house you want to buy.

1. Weatherproofing

Extreme weather events are a bane to homeowners everywhere. Everyday extreme weather events include:

  • droughts that lead to massive wildfires,
  • prolonged cold snaps with blizzards, and
  • ferocious storms that cause high floods.

The sturdiest homes might not stand a chance against such events. And because of this, you should still look for houses built with materials that can withstand anything other than a sunny day. Take houses with shiplap wall panels as an example. These houses will last much longer against rainy climates than standard clapboard. Homes on stilts or elevated platforms will have more protection against flooding. Weatherproofing installations such as storm shutters are fast becoming a necessity in today's climate.

2. Pet Measures

Many Americans enjoy the presence of a pet and the companionship they bring. You may even be moving to your own house because your apartment building or shared living space doesn't allow pets or is no longer healthy for them to live in. Suppose you are moving into a new house. In that case, you need to keep your pet's health and life in mind to ensure the previous owners equipped the property with the proper installations. For example, a cat flap or doggy door is beneficial to ensure they can roam around. Durability is also a consideration if your house lasts long with pets. Tile flooring is preferable to wooden panels if you have a pack of Pitbull puppies as their claws won't score it.

3. Environmental Friendliness

More and more people are becoming concerned about human impact in the environment. Some of these people are even committing to decreasing their impact. According to a survey, 69 percent of consumers claimed they were doing everything to reduce their carbon footprint to a minimum. But what environmental measures can you expect from a house? Some of these measures can be very expensive, such as installing a series of photovoltaic cells. Others might be within even a modest price range, such as tankless water heaters as these don't use as much energy. Rain catchers can also help decrease your need to use piped-in water. You should also consider the materials the house was built with more durable materials like stone and cement will last longer than cheaper alternatives like plaster and particleboard. But they will have significantly inflated initial costs, but they won't require as much replacement.

4. The Yard

One of the most compelling reasons you may have to move into a house is because it has a yard. A recent survey revealed that almost 70 percent of homeowners want a large backyard. There are multiple reasons you'll like a large yard. Maybe because you have a yen to practice gardening or because you enjoy outdoor activities. Maybe you want your kids and pets to have an open area where they can freely play and frolic. Regardless of the reason, you should always watch out for the price per yard. You must also consider the condition of the yard. If it's in a deplorable condition, you might end up spending too much money improving it.

5. Consider the Age

Finally, always ask the real estate agent how old the property is. There are many considerations you need to be aware of due to the property's age. First, lead piping and paint are still a pervasive problem among houses, especially those built before the 1980s. The age of a house also affects its durability, with older homes requiring more care and maintenance than their newer counterparts. Older houses of particular importance may even be historical to some degree and have specific requirements to live in.

When looking for a new house, primary considerations such as the price, the location, and the style are all well and good. Still, you need to think about other factors. By keeping these considerations in mind when house hunting, you have a better chance at finding your perfect abode.


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