Best Practices

What to Look for When Buying a New Home

Date Published: Mar 09, 2020
Jim Hughes, writer at
Sophia Rodrigez, reviewer at

Welcome to a new chapter of your life!

Buying a house can be simply put, exhilarating and overwhelming. It’s exciting to finally have your very own place to call home, but it’s also a huge step in your life. Perhaps you’re not even sure where to start!

Finding a new houseAfter buying any home, there is a need for repairing and renovating. It is important to know about the budget you need to spend on repairing and renovating. Try to find some extra funding choices which could help you if anything went in a more expensive way like online installment loans services.

This is why we’ve gathered the top information to know before going out and buying a new home for the first time.


1.Taking Care of the Foundation of Your Future Home


There are some important factors you’ll want to be aware of when viewing candidates for your future home.




It’s wise to look into the electrical features a home holds. Older homes can often carry older features. A couple of examples of these older features are open junction boxes and a shortage of high amp outlets.

A junction box is a box made of plastic or metal in your home that can contain electrical wires. If it’s not checked regularly and inspected, an older junction box can bring possible fire hazards to the home.

A home with no shortage of outlets is a huge plus for future homeowners. Outlets are essential for every household. But high-amp outlets come in handy for newer and more modern appliances you might find yourself adding to your home later on.

If you don’t have experience updating the electrical systems in a home, you may want to consider hiring an electrician or contractor. If you don’t have a large budget and find yourself not being able to afford to hire someone to fix these issues, you may want to avoid looking at older homes during your house search.

In general, examine all of the appliances when viewing a home. Don’t be afraid to ask the homeowner or realtor questions about the home. Turn on electrical appliances in the kitchen, laundry room, and bathrooms. Make sure everything making up the house is in good shape. Your future home should be the one that you deserve.




When examining your kitchen, laundry room, and bathrooms, look over the plumbing system of the house as well. Don’t hesitate to examine the pipes that keep the home running smoothly. Check under the sinks and run the taps. Check your radiators as well.

Keep an eye out for any weird odors around the house. Look for leaks, water damage, and potential mold. Sewage systems often have pipes that get blocked after getting clogged up by debris or branches.

Checking for mold in a home is also very important due to the health problems mold can cause. If a person living in this home has asthma, it can be especially detrimental to their health.


Heating & Cooling


When looking over the foundation of a home, keep in mind the heating and cooling systems. These systems can be very expensive to replace and can easily add up utility bills. Look over the furnace, pipes, attic and heating ducts. Make sure they’re properly insulated and in good condition.

Don’t hesitate to ask about the age of the systems and the ductwork. Take a look outside and check on the air conditioning units to see how they sound. Look for rust and dirt to make sure the equipment is in good shape. After you’ve done your initial check, look over the inspection report. The inspector will be able to give you even more details and a better idea of what you’re walking into.


The Roof


One of the most important things to look over during your inspection process is the roof. An older roof will cave in and start to produce gaping holes that can cost you later on. A newer roof, on the other hand, reassures you you’ll receive the protection and shelter you need.

A new roof will be sturdier and ready for all weather conditions. It can also possibly lead to a lower insurance rate as a homeowner.

When conducting your inspection process, ask about the age of the roof and the life expectancy. If it’s heading towards the end, you may quickly find yourself having to make replacements. Do a visual check for broken shingles, major damages to the roof, and any rust, moss, or dirt.

A damaged roof can have an impact on both the interior and exterior of your home. This  is why it should be one of your main concerns and things to watch out for when purchasing a home.


Water Damage & Faulty Windows


As mentioned before, don’t be hesitant to check everything when buying a new home. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to common issues you’ll find that include water damage, faulty windows, and poor tiling jobs.

Be sure to check out the ceiling and basement. It’s also wise to look under any sinks in the bathrooms and kitchen.

If the home has a yard, look for sloping areas, drains, pools of water, or old watermarks on the exterior of the house. All of these can hint at water issues in the past that you may want to watch out for in the future.

In general, you’ll want to test any windows and make sure they all open correctly. But another reason for checking windows is in regards to fire safety. You’ll want to make sure the home you choose keeps you protected.

Also, take note of any tiling in the home. If there are obvious uneven gaps in the tiles, this will indicate a poor job done. It can also mean there have been multiple fixes and jobs done to the house.


2.Hiring a Realtor and Inspector


Hiring a realtor and an inspector is a must. A realtor will not only help with finding the right house for you but can also help with conducting the most productive search as a local realtor will know the area, as well as how the market runs. They’ll also know the vocabulary and will be able to help you understand a house’s history as well as the contracts and inspection reports you’ll encounter as you purchase a home.

An inspector can give you all of the details on the history of a house. As mentioned before, inspectors are a huge help in seeing that the electrical systems are up to code and that the foundation of the home is safe to live in. In addition, the inspector can check to see if there’s any lead in the home or bugs that can destroy the foundation.

It is always a smart decision to have an inspection done before moving forward on buying a house. Remember that a home having a couple of problems doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t move forward on purchasing it. It just gives you a better idea of what to expect and the offer to make.


3.Your Deal-Breakers


Buying a new home is a big purchase and a huge chapter in life. The key to making a good choice is identifying the deal-breakers, or the essentials, that absolutely need to be provided with your future home.

 What do you want from your future home? Do you want new kitchen appliances? Extra storage? Another bedroom?

Consider your home’s purpose. The ultimate goal might be to spend many years in this new home. Do you need a lot of land? Will you require a school nearby? Do you want to live near amenities like grocery stores and libraries?

Take into great consideration what you will need when embarking on the search for your new home.


4.Tips and Questions to Know


  • Get to know and research an area before you think about buying.
  • Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Know what your price point is when pursuing a home.
  • Be sure about how much you should spend on renovating and repairing the house. You may need financial help like cash advance or online payday loan services which could be a short term solution of funding.
  • Know that it’s all right to walk away from a home if you don’t feel it’s right for you.
  • Stay away from making impulse purchases. You don’t want your home to be something that you regret.
  • Plan to stay in your home for many years in order to create value later on.


  1. Ask the owner why they are moving and how long they have lived at the home.
  2. Ask the agent representing the home how fast properties typically sell in the area, in order to get an idea of how much of a profit you can make later on.
  3. Ask the owner about their neighbors in order to get an idea of the environment surrounding the home.
  4. Ask the owner how their utility bills have looked over a year. You’ll be able to better assess the energy use of a home.
  5. Ask the owner what improvements and renovations have been made since they first moved in.
  6. Ask the agent how long the home has been listed, how many showings they’ve had, how many offers they’ve received, and when the sellers ideally would like to move by.

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Jim Hughes, author at OpenLoans
Director of Content/Chief Editor
With over a decade of experience in the financial and business sectors, Jim Hughes is a leading voice in personal finance and loans.
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