Home Searching

When searching for a potential home, it’s easy to fall in love fast.  Often times, only the best pictures, which are almost all edited in some form, show up for the viewer to click through.  There is a story about how perfect the home is or how amazing it could be with a little bit of work.

If impressed enough to actually check out a home in-person, go with a game plan.  The prospective buyer should have questions ready for the realtor and give each room a thorough look-over as he or she takes the tour.  Take notes of the good and the bad.  Nothing is too small to ignore.  These notes will help jog the memory later on and could also be used to negotiate the price down, should an offer be made.  Of all the things to consider when searching for a home, there are a few that may slip the mind, but are extremely important for a potential homeowner.

Roof

Since it’s not routine to bring out a ladder and inspect the roof on a property tour, be sure to ask about the roof.  It’s not worth making an offer, negotiating back and forth, and coming to an agreement only to have the inspector find a problem with the roof.

Any roof with a warranty intact is ideal, but if it’s toward the end of the warranty period, that’s a potential added future expense to budget for.  Look for any tall trees that could constantly drop debris onto the roof.  Walk the outside perimeter of the house and check for any deformities, such as missing or broken shingles, cracks in any of the roofing material and moss.

Garage

Whether the garage will be used to shelter cars, for storage, or even for a “man cave,” it’s important to inspect it thoroughly and think of how belongings would fit in the space.  The interested party must decide what’s acceptable and what won’t work.

Is there a pitched roof with rafters for added storage space?  Is there enough space to comfortably park one or two cars?  Is the garage door automatic or manual?  If there’s a gated entrance to the property, is the gate automatic or manual?  Is there a driveway?  Is there a blind spot when leaving the house?

Air Conditioning System

While it would be very rare these days for a home in Arizona to not have air conditioning, verify there’s a system in-place.  Ask where the thermostat is and how to operate it if it’s not clear.  Check where the vents are in each room and feel for the force and temperature of the air.

It’s all too regular for homeowners to neglect their air conditioning systems, which could potentially hurt a buyer.  First and foremost, filters should be replaced every three months or so.  If not, the system won’t operate efficiently and could release allergens and other nuisances into the home.  Thereafter, systems should be cleaned at least once per year, which is a task most homeowners don’t do.

Written By: Karl Kennedy

Photo by: Miguel Á. Padriñán