5 Tips for Evaluating If a Property Is Up to Date

5 Tips for Evaluating If a Property Is Up to Date

Whether you’re buying or selling a house, you’ll need to know if it’s up to date. Some houses are in great condition structurally, but the interior needs some tender loving care. Others are ideally located, but they’re falling apart at the seams. This information is essential to have before you make a real estate move. Perhaps the best approach is to perform a thorough examination of the entire property, one section at a time.

1. Check the HVAC System, Electricity, and Gas

A starting place that shouldn’t be too difficult is to learn the basics about the property’s power and HVAC systems. Some houses have outdated furnaces or floor heaters, others have no air conditioning at all. As temperatures have risen in recent decades, it is essential to have a quality heating and air conditioning unit. If you’re buying, you’ll need to consider this cost; if you’re selling, you’ll want to decide whether to make the update.

Along those same lines, many people want access to natural gas lines in their homes. Thus, it’s important to know whether the property you’re evaluating has gas and electric or electric only. If it doesn’t have gas, find out how much it will cost to get it and decide if it’s worth it. Furthermore, make sure to check the outlets around the house. You may want to replace older outlets with ones that include USB ports common in many newer homes.

2. Get Up on the Roof!

Okay, you don’t have to jump on the roof yourself, but you might want to. You should have an inspector out to give you an idea of how much longer the current roof should last. They can also tell you what kind of condition it’s in and whether it needs any patches or repairs. A new roof can cost thousands of dollars, so you’ll want to be prepared for that expense.

Another area to check out while you’re up there is the gutter system. The gutters and drainpipes on some houses get so overloaded they start breaking down. Without a good gutter system, the home could sustain damage to the foundation, attic, and basement. And it doesn’t cost much to either clean them out or replace them. It will certainly cost less than repairing foundation damage.

3. Review Foundation, Basement, and Plumbing

Speaking of foundation damage, you’ll want to ensure the foundation on the property is sound. If you think a roof is expensive to repair or replace, a foundation is much more costly. Foundation adjustments can cost tens of thousands of dollars if excavation is required. Signs of foundation damage include cracks in exterior or interior walls, bouncing floors, or a sinking ground. An inspector can tell you for sure what you’re dealing with.

While you’re looking at the lower level of your home, check out the basement and your plumbing systems. A finished basement can dramatically increase the value of a property for sellers; likewise, an unfinished basement can be a negotiation point for buyers to lower the asking price. And while no one wants to deal with plumbing and sewage issues, prevention is often better than repair. Have a plumber out to inspect your pipes for any signs of impending doom.

4. Look at the Windows, Doors, and Floors

Take a walk through the house and examine the doors, windows, and floors for wear and tear. Some older homes have single-paned windows that simply won’t hold up to nasty weather. They let moisture and humidity in and breed mold and mildew in the house. Doors should have weather stripping to help keep the hot and cold where you want them, depending on the season. You’ll want to check the floors for quality hardwood under carpet or linoleum.

Updating doors, floors, and windows can make a house instantly more attractive to buyers. For sellers, this attraction means your property may spend less time on the market and get you a higher asking price. For buyers, if these updates have not been made, you’ll want to consider whether you want to make them. Alternatively, you can lower your asking price and use out-of-date items as a negotiation point.

5. Look at Major Appliances

Finally, perhaps the easiest and most obvious evaluation to make lies in the appliances. Of course, you’ll want to review the major kitchen appliances. Is the stove gas or electric? Again, many people want gas these days, so consider that. Also look at the refrigerator and the dishwasher to see if they are older, less efficient models. Sellers don’t necessarily have to replace kitchen appliances, but it will make the house more up-to-date.

But wait; there’s more. The rest of the house needs to be reviewed as well. Washing machines, dryers, bathtubs, sinks, and toilets are all considered types of appliances. And each of those can bring the house up to date or keep it in the dark ages. Make sure you review all the appliances in the home and consider the cost of replacement. This cost should factor into your listing price as a seller and your asking price as a buyer.

In the end, almost anything can be fixed or replaced on a property, right down to the foundation. The question is whether you want to do the work and/or pay the cost of those repairs. When deciding to buy or sell land, it’s best to go in with your eyes wide open. Understanding just how up-to-date a property is will go a long way toward helping you make the right decision for you.

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