House Hunting Tip #1 – Start snapping pictures outside. It could save you thousands!
Here is your first house hunting tip to save you thousands. The outside of the home sometimes gets less of your attention when you are on house tours. After all some of the best parts of the house are the killer kitchen, amazing master bathroom, or awesome fireplace. However, touring the exterior with these ten attributes in mind can really impact how high you rate the house as the home of your dreams. Snap pictures of each of them so you can remember them later.
But first, here’s why these 10 are important:
Past and Future… The current condition of the house will indicate how well it has been maintained in the past. Looking forward, you will want to take into account how much of your time and money will be needed to keep the house maintained.
Annual Home Budget:
In addition to planning for your monthly mortgage payment and home insurance, you will want to have an idea about what you will need to budget for routine maintenance on the house. There will be annual expenses (think fall leaf removal) and one time updates (maybe a new roof). Exterior maintenance items also tend to be some of the most expensive items.
Customize your inspection! When you are ready to have “THE” house inspected, you will have your own checklist ready. Home Inspectors have their routine list, but can be more thorough if they know what specific areas of interest you have. Each house has its own story. The home inspection should be equally unique. Your DADO Notes photos will makes it easy for you to customize the inspection check list. The better the inspection, the more informed you are about the current condition of the home.
Top 10 Exterior Pictures that will save you thousands of dollars:
1. The Trees
Look up and notice the trees around the house. Two key considerations:
a. Leaf Season – how much time (or money) will you need to clean up in the fall
b. Proximity to the house – If tree limbs are close to the house you will need to make sure you inspect for issues such as carpenter ants and squirrels. Neither should be a deal breaker. You just want to know before and plan for preventative maintenance when you own the house.
2. The Roof
Notice if the roof shingles are curling, missing or need to be power washed. Also note what material they are made of in the event you need to replace them, you have an idea of the cost.
3. The Gutters
Are they clean and hanging straight or cluttered and missing pieces. Gutters should be cleaned at least once a year. If they don’t look maintained, this is just a hint routine maintenance might not have been a priority of the current home owner.
4. The Foundation
Two potential issues to check for are cracks in the foundation and adequate foundation between the ground and wooden exterior where applicable. If the house exterior is brick, stone or stucco, this is not an issue.
5. The Driveway
Driveways need to be resealed every few years and if not properly maintained can get cracks that will ultimately require the driveway to be completely repaved, which is much more expensive that resealing.
6. The House Exterior Material
What type of exterior material does the house have? What is the condition of the exterior paint? Will the house require annual power washing? Painting every 5-8 years? Little to no maintenance, it is made of brick! YAY!
7. The Electrical/Fuel
Air handlers, generators, above ground propane and oil tanks. Often forgotten or hidden on the side of the house. Is the area around them kept clean of leaves and overgrown landscaping? Does the equipment itself look in good shape? Or old, rusty and ill maintained?
8. The Fence
If the yard has fencing – check the current condition and include this in your maintenance plans. If it is wood, when will it need to be painted again? Is the wood in good shape or are there any rotten spots? If it is metal or plastic, will it need to be power washed?
9. Yard Drains
If there are drains in the driveway or around the yard, are they clear and easy to clean? Where do the drain pipes open into the yard away from the house? Is that area properly maintained and free for the water to flow away from the house (and not into your new neighbor’s yard…) Walk the yard to see if there are areas where rain water has created “bare” spots in the landscape as well.
10. Your View 4 ways
Take a picture from every side of the house. You will be looking out of the house more than you will be looking into the house. What is your view looking out from the front, back and both sides of the house. How close are the neighbors? Do they have a bay window looking directly into your master bathroom? Might be good to know that now.
The 10 that can save you 1000’s
There you have it. 10 Pictures that could save you thousands in maintenance or at least inform your annual house budget needs to have $1000 more than you originally thought.
It is so exciting house hunting. Shopping for homes with DADO Notes makes it easy to remember which house had the best roof, least number of leafy trees that need raking in the fall and best of all, no nosey neighbor bay window looking into your master bathroom!
Happy House Hunting!