What First Time Home Buyers Should Look for in a Maricopa Home
Knowing what to look for before you head to a property showing
You’re in the market for your first home! It’s a very exciting time. You have your real estate agent scouring homes for sale in Maricopa, and you’re putting together your wish list for your potential new home. However, once you realize how many details there are to consider, the process can become daunting and somewhat overwhelming. Knowing what you can look for before you write an offer, and sometimes before you walk through the front door, can alleviate some of the unknowns and help ease the home buying process for you.
Here’s one way to feel out the house before you even walk through the door. Take a walk around the home and take note of the state that the roof is in. You’ll want to watch for missing or broken tiles or shingles, heavy debris gathered in the corners, and any inkling of bowing or caving. Aside from taking from the aesthetics of the home, these superficial qualities could be hiding some deeper, and potentially costly, problems.
Missing/broken tiles or shingles can compromise the integrity of the roof
Large piles of rotting debris can trap moisture and rot the roof underneath
Bowing or caving can indicate that rotting may already be occurring
A brand new roof not only looks more aesthetically pleasing, it can lead to lower homeowner’s insurance rates as well. The material used and time since installation will also give you an idea of how long it will be before you need to look into making a big investment in a new roof.
Never mind the Paint
Of course a freshly painted room looks pretty, but how long does that really last in the grand scheme of homeownership? Take note of the paint, and what fun the weekend projects will be, but more importantly, look beyond that to the structural components.
Exposed wires, rusty door hinges, or aging appliances are going to be costlier weekend ventures. Look at the flooring, cabinets, and windows and make sure they’re in acceptable shape. The point is, do not be distracted by pretty paint colors or the amazing clock above the door. Make sure you’re focusing on the aspects of the house that need to last.
Heating & Cooling
You don’t always judge a book by its cover, however, when it comes to the heating and cooling system, if it appears to be old and falling apart it’s probably old and falling apart.
Climate control systems are expensive, both to fix and to replace. Systems that are not energy efficient will lend to a steep increase in your cooling bills in Maricopa during those hot summer months. Make sure to check out the system and have your realtor ask questions about maintenance and upkeep by the current owners.
Insulation is also a big deal. If you don’t have a well-insulated home, then the best cooling system doesn’t fix all your utility problems. Check attic space and see how well insulated it is, and what kind of insulation is used. You can also check for light leaks (holes in the roof) while you’re looking up there.
Although most of the piping is hidden in the walls, you can inspect what you have access to. When you’re in the bathroom and kitchen, run the water and check that it comes out clear. Use your sense of smell to detect any hind of mustiness or mildew. You can even open up the cupboards and check under the sinks to see if there is any rusting or leaking happening under there.
Look up at the ceiling and see if there is any water staining or fresh paint on there. This could indicate either a roof or plumbing problem. Make sure to take note and ask about it.
Do a Drive-by
Ok, not THAT kind of drive-by. If your real estate agent gets the property address before your showing, go drive by and see what you think about the curb appeal, neighborhood, and location. If you can walk the street, do so and take note of the smells and sounds. For some, pet odors are a given and they remain unbothered, for others, that is a deal breaker. Listen for the noise level of the traffic and surrounding schools and parks.
You are not absolutely committed to a showing, so if you drive by and don’t think it’s going to be a good fit, have your realtor move onto the next listing. Sometimes, however, viewing the home can help you spot features or layouts you find more or less appealing.
Determine Your Deal Breakers
Make a list of features that are absolutely required, that are desired, and that are negotiable. Make another list of things you absolutely are not ok with, what you hope to not be there, and what you’re willing to discuss. Knowing your limits before you shop is key.
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Flip the Switch
All of them. Turn lights and faucets on and off, open up the windows, cupboards, and doors. Take note of where the outlets, both power and phone, are located and whether they’re connected to a light switch. In essence, make sure everything works.
Get a Home Inspection
Sometimes, first time homebuyers skip out on the inspection. Bad idea. Home inspectors are trained to find faults in the home that most are not perceptive to. They are checking to make sure that the electricity is up to code, plumbing is working beyond just turning on a faucet, and that the air conditioner is going to work efficiently. They check the foundation and the roof and everything in between. Ask your real estate agent for a recommendation. Chances are, they have a contact in Maricopa they trust for your inspection.
There is a plethora of homes for sale in Maricopa. We would love to be given the opportunity to share this experience of house shopping with you. Let’s sit down and build your wish list, explore your many options, and find your dream home. Give The Maricopa Real Estate Company a call today at 520-350-1091.
The Maricopa Real Estate Company
21300 N John Wayne Parkway #101
Maricopa, AZ 85139