When you’re purchasing a home for the first time, you may tend to think more about the fun aspects of the process—cosmetic features like granite countertops and walk-in closets. But when purchasing a home, there are some things you need to be aware of—things that could put a major dent in your wallet later on.
#1: Hidden Fees
When you’re searching for the perfect home, pay attention to where it is. This may seem obvious, but different towns have different taxes. And you could pay more in taxes depending on your location.
When you’re ready to sign, be clear on who pays closing costs. Sometimes the seller will agree to cover them if you’re willing to paint a room, etc. Don’t be afraid to negotiate, as these fees can add up.
Also check the paperwork to see that the seller has disclosed any potential issues. For example, if there was mold remediation done, make sure it was done recently and that any mold and mildew problem is under control. Otherwise, you could find yourself paying thousands of dollars to fix a recurring mold problem—not to mention health care bills you may incur for mold exposure.
#2: Safety Concerns
In addition to mold, there could be other hidden dangers in the home you’re considering buying. Some houses built in Connecticut and Massachusetts are desirable for their New England character and charm—and many of them are older. Because of this, be aware of what building materials were used when the home was built. For example, homes built during the 1930s and as recently as the 1970s had asbestos in the building materials. Houses built before 1978 are likely to contain lead paint.
The good news is that if you plan to buy a well-maintained older home, and you don’t plan to do any major renovations, asbestos within the walls shouldn’t be a problem if it isn’t disturbed—particles released into the air. If you do any renovations, you’ll likely have to do tests for asbestos and follow remediation procedures. Depending on your budget, this could be costly.
New home buyers may feel shy about checking for things when they first tour a home. But it’s okay to bang on walls, linger in the basement if necessary to make sure you don’t smell anything strange. Check for gas odors, or anything that could indicate a leak. For these reasons, never waive the inspection before you purchase a home.
#3: The Neighborhood
They always say when buying a new home: “location, location, location!” The neighborhood where the home is located will affect its value. Is it close to good schools? Do the neighbors maintain their property? You could have the nicest house on the block, but if it’s next to a house and yard that aren’t well maintained, it could be a real headache when you go to sell your house someday.
If your new home is located on a private road, it may be up to the residents to pay for the upkeep of the road—potholes and other obstructions—as well as street lights, etc. Does the town pay for the cost of snow plowing the roads in the neighborhood? If the neighborhood is close enough to town, many things will already be covered. It’s worth your while to find out ahead of time.
Last but not least, how far is the neighborhood from your work? Although these are times when many people are able to work remotely, when you do have to return to the office, will it be a long commute? Besides work, how far is it to get groceries or health care services? Usually, you can find a better deal on homes that are a bit further from the center of activity if you’re willing to drive a little. But for some new home buyers, extra cost is worth having more convenience. So it’s important to discuss what things matter most to you before you buy.
MB Homes New England has been proudly offering professional Real Estate services and investment management property services for home buyers, sellers, and investors in Webster, MA, Dudley, MA, Douglas, MA, Auburn, MA, Oxford, MA, Thompson, CT, Pomfret, CT, Woodstock, CT, and Putnam, CT since 2010.
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