We’re in the midst of a buyer’s market, which bodes poorly for anyone looking to sell their house. Property values are plummeting, millions of people are out of work, and market recovery seems far from sight. It may sound opportunistic, but the time is ripe for picking up a few real estate investments. However, more and more home sellers choose to wait things out than to risk a loss on their investment. If you’re lucky enough to come across a good property, you need to act right away.
While some states are slowly lifting restrictions, we can’t expect a return to normalcy anytime soon. By and large, people still prefer to stay at home, which has led to a mini-boom in home improvement. More and more homeowners are renovating their homes to account for changes in their lifestyle. After all, if you’re going to spend most of your time indoors, you’ll want to make sure you have everything you need. This means that we’ll soon see better and bigger homes on the market.
If you’re thinking of buying a home, it’s important to look at value-adding features that fit your lifestyle. Real estate isn’t just a numbers game, and just because a property is cheap doesn’t mean it’s a good investment. It all boils down to your needs and wants. Let’s say you need space for a home office. You shouldn’t waste your time on homes that lack the one feature you need. That way, you get to make the most of your first-time homebuyer loan.
But how does one spot a real-estate dud? Here are a few things you need to look out for when shopping for a new home.
- Avoid fixer-uppers
Unless you have a lot of cash to burn, you’ll want to avoid fixer-uppers. While small repairs here and there are completely normal, you don’t want to burn through your cash reserves just because the foundation needs fixing.
A comprehensive inspection should help you determine if the property you’re eyeing is riddled with issues. It’s also not uncommon for sellers to give the property a quick touch-up to make it more presentable. If that’s the case, you may want to check if the repairs are hiding something more serious.
Of course, not all seller-initiated repairs have an ulterior motive. It’s entirely possible that the owner just wanted to update their home if only to breathe new life into an old property. If anything, you should be grateful for these repairs and renovations. This saves you the time and effort of having to repaint walls and replace broken switches.
- Always check the insulation
A home with poor insulation is more expensive to run and maintain. Make it a point to check the roof and windows, which affect the property’s energy efficiency. If you need to upgrade the home’s insulation, you can use this to negotiate a lower rate. Otherwise, the most sensible action would be to walk away.
That said, it also pays to check whether the situation is salvageable. If the repairs are relatively minor, you can invest in upgrades to improve the property’s energy efficiency. For instance, replacing the windows can make the property more comfortable during hot summers and cold winters. Small upgrades can have a big effect on the system as a whole.
- More space is always good
Be on the lookout for homes that have lots of space. Many homes have specialized rooms (e.g., libraries, dens) that make them more valuable. But if you’re looking for versatility, you’ll want to work with a blank canvas. You know you’ve hit real estate gold if you can turn any empty room in the property into anything you want. You can also extract more value if you can combine rooms to create larger spaces. Just make sure you’re not tearing down a load-bearing wall.
It also helps if you can add space without having to alter the home’s superstructure. Expansion can be costly, especially if you have to extend the foundation. You stand to save hundreds of thousands of dollars if the property’s design allows for expansions with minimal work.
The bottom line
These are just some of the things you need to check when shopping for a new home. Even if you don’t have immediate plans to buy real estate, it pays to know the property’s hidden pitfalls. Be vigilant and always defer to the experts when it comes to spotting issues.