What to Look for When Buying a House

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Real Estate

The number of homes that will be sold in 2019 and 2020 is projected to be around 6 million. Buying a house is a significant investment for you and your family. You, therefore, want to get it right the first time you do it. The process may be tedious and overwhelming. However, you must ensure that it is all worth it.

81% of millennial homeowners have some regret about buying their homes. To get a house that you will have no disappointment over, here are the main key items you should look at.

Condition of the Roof

The roof is one of the most expensive features of a home, so it is imperative to do a thorough inspection of it. First, find out how old the roof is. This will tell you if it will need repair in the future, and help you budget for it. Indicators of how old the roof is, includes missing shingles, deformities, and mold. Missing and broken shingles will lead to leaks, which can cause further damage to your furniture and floors. This will end up costing you.


Not only is having a properly insulated house critical for energy efficiency, but it also ensures your home is comfortable throughout the year. Inspect the heating ducts and water pipes for proper insulation is key. Some homes will have insulated floors, windows, walls, and roofs. A house with insulated walls is better overall as 40% of heat is lost through the walls. The roof and windows also lose a significant amount of heat if they are not insulated.

A house that has adequate insulation decreases the need for additional cooling and heating, thus saving on annual costs.


Before you even make a down payment, get a plumbing inspection done. This is important because plumbing issues are the hardest to fix. A sewer inspection is one of the areas to pay attention to. If the house is in areas with a lot of trees or old trees, the chance is high that roots may have invaded the sewer. The water meter should be turning and have no leaks. The valve should also be in perfect shape.

Ensure that faucets, toilets, and sinks are also functional, and that they do not leak or drip. Doing a plumbing inspection can be complicated, hiring a professional to help will make the process more effective.

Electrical System

Wiring is among the most crucial things to look for in a prospective home. Hiring a certified electrician to inspect the electrical system will save the house from potential electrical fires. An electrician can also let you know if the wiring is old and needs to be updated. Outlets, too, will need to be checked. This will help you identify if they are functional, and if any of them require replacement. Dysfunctional outlets could be dangerous, and a red flag to the purchase. Fixing them is not only time-consuming but also costly. 


Look beyond the structure of the house. The area where the home is located is critical. If you have children or are planning to have children, you will want a house in an area with good schools. The security of the area is also crucial. Some areas are prone to flooding. Buying a home in such areas is not advisable. Structural damage will end up costing you a lot in the long run.

When it comes to surroundings, there is a lot to consider, including whether or not you will be sharing the driveway, or walkway with your neighbors.

Buying a house is a financial investment. For it to serve you well, you should not be in a hurry. Before you close the purchase, ensure that every feature is functional. Ask for professional help while inspecting the roof, electrical system, and plumbing. This investment could last you a lifetime, take time to find the perfect place for you and your family. 

The Michael Stoltzfus Group is located in Lancaster, PA and serves the Lancaster County and Central Pennsylvania area. We work diligently to help home buyers and sellers like yourself achieve their home goals. With extensive experience and knowledge of the area, the real estate team at Michael Stoltzfus Group will provide friendly and professional support for your entire real estate transaction.

Contact us online where one of our professional team members will respond via email or call us today at 717-380-3367.