Buying a private house is associated with very high risk: the deal requires significant investment. If you are thinking about buying a private house, first of all, you must analyze your needs: do you need to travel to work every day, or do you have the opportunity to work at least a couple of days a week remotely? Which educational institutions do your children go to? Do not forget about plans for the future and remember how you and your loved ones would like to recharge the energy spent in cares and deeds: in front of a fireplace away from city noise or vice versa. Make a table for each family member, write to whom and what is more suitable, and only then make a decision.
Meanwhile, have a look at these important criteria.
Find out who your potential neighbors are – getting to know them will help you learn a lot of interesting things about the house itself, its past owners, and life in the area where this house is located. During a conversation, you can find out how the house was built, what materials were used, and what is under the finishing layer. Being uninterested persons, they will tell a lot of things, which the owner prefers to keep silent about or deliberately hide. Moreover, you can check the latest 311 requests and see the reports (from potholes to loud noise or street trash). For this purpose, we suggest you use the https://neighbor.report/ website.
Write down all the places you need to go by car more than once a week. Check how long it takes to get to them, especially during peak hours. Find out if there are shops, pharmacies, or hospitals nearby. It would also be useful to learn about the plans for the surrounding area development, the environmental situation, and whether there are recreation places or forests nearby.
2) Living space planning
Comfort depends on the correct planning of the living space. Particularly important points include:
- The entire atmosphere in the house is good when the living room, entrance room, and dining room smoothly “flow” into each other. This creates a feeling of freedom and spaciousness and eliminates the need to constantly open the doors.
- The presence of a sufficient number of bedrooms – each family member should have their own room.
- The proper illumination is important just like the available windows in the house, but it is important to know how to calculate the correct number of them: the ratio of the area of the windows to the area of the house should be about 1:8.
The layout of a private house must meet the requirements of the buyer. Otherwise, you can not do without redevelopment, and this will turn into a serious waste of time and money.
3) Order an inspection
If you are aiming to purchase a particular house, we recommend you order a detailed inspection to understand all the drawbacks of the property and maybe reduce the price. When checking the technical condition of the house and assessing the quality of construction, ask your inspector questions of interest, and record all shortcomings and defects.
Here are the main things to pay attention to:
- Roof condition. Conclusions about the condition of the roof can be drawn from the attic. If there are traces of smudges, mold, or fungus, then the roof is leaking, and repairs will require significant investments.
- External walls. Cracks in the outer walls of a house can indicate serious defects. Even if there are no obvious cracks, they can hide behind a layer of fresh plaster.
- Ceilings and floors. The ceiling of the ground floor will tell you about the quality of the floors in general. The floor must be leveled. You can ask your inspector to check it as well.
- Foundation and basement. The strength and reliability of the whole house depend on them. An indirect sign of a quality foundation can be the absence of cracks on the walls of the house. Only specialists can give you a more accurate estimate. As for the basement – if you notice signs of flooding, most likely the foundation construction technology was violated. In this case, the house will have a constant smell of dampness and mold, and in the future, it will lead to destruction.
To check the options you have, it is better to come again with a real estate specialist for a thorough examination. Also, a specialist can detect non-obvious defects, helping you to save money when buying.