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Inspection Points to Double Check Before You Buy a Home

Deciding to finally purchase a home is a huge deal. Owning a home can open several financial doors that create plenty of opportunities. Perhaps even more important, it means you can do whatever you want - play music past 10 p.m., paint the walls a crazy color, or even walk around naked.

Although all of these exciting things can increase the urgency of getting settled into a new home in the big city, there are still plenty of things to watch out for. Even the most amazing home can have fatal flaws that would have you wishing you'd never signed the paperwork. To avoid those terrible regrets, here are some things to double-check before purchasing a home.

Structural Integrity
The biggest concerns to watch out for in any potential home purchase are often the ones that are difficult to see. Because of this, it is really valuable to ensure the home is inspected before signing any paperwork. Home inspectors assess the home thoroughly and without bias, which means you can get an honest, professional opinion of what problems might be lurking within the walls.

You'll want to really pay attention to issues associated with the structural integrity of your home. If the foundation is cracked and needs to be fixed or the electrical wiring is dangerous or there is significant water damage from a leaking pipe, you or the seller might be looking at thousands of dollars in fixes just to make the home truly livable. Most banks won't offer home loans on houses that don't meet basic inspection requirements.

Before signing anything, you will also want to double-check some of the materials that were used in the original construction. Even as recently as the 1970s, homes were being built with materials that are now considered hazardous to human health such as asbestos. Although the presence of some of these materials in your new home might not be a deal-breaker, it is imperative to know about them in case work needs to be done in the future.

Big Ticket Fixes
You may be looking to purchase somewhat of a fixer-upper and build skills in home improvement and general maintenance. That isn't necessarily a bad thing as long as you have a solid idea of the potential costs. Break costs into categories of cosmetic fixes that you can easily accomplish over time and big-ticket fixes that may require a professional to take care of. Doing this can help drive your decision on whether or not the home is actually a good financial investment.

Some of these bigger fixes can include things like water heater maintenance, remodeling kitchens or bathrooms, upgrading electrical, maintaining a roof, and so on. One of two of these things may not be a huge deal when it comes to purchasing a home you intend to do improvements on, but if too many stack up all at once, it can be a real concern.

If home improvements are not your goal, even one or two of these moderate fixes might be enough to give you pause on purchasing a particular home. It may be worth looking into a couple of different homes or even expanding the budget a bit to avoid something that will need too much work.

Purchasing a home in the big city is a really exciting opportunity that can turn into a lifetime of good memories. Before making the purchase, it is important to double check a few things to avoid moving into a lemon. Watch out for big structural issues and take note of all of the minor or moderate fixes you'd like to have accomplished. Good luck!