What should I be looking for is a common question I get from Oakland County first time home buyers? What I tell them is you should be looking at the structure and the updates. You need to look at the items that are going to cost you a lot of money. Here are the seven big items (and one smaller one) you should be looking at.
- Roof - How does the roof look? Are there shingles missing? Look at the valleys in the roof. Are the shingles curling on the edges? Is there one or two layers of shingles. This give you a general idea of whether you are going to need to replace the roof in the next few years.
- Windows - Are they old? Do they need replacing? How is the wood around the windows?
- Exterior siding or woodwork? Is it rotting or do pieces need replacing? Or does it just need painting?
- Kitchen - does it need to be updated. A kitchen that needs to be updated is one of the most expensive costs in the house.
- Bathrooms - does it need to be updated. A bathroom update can run up from $4000 to $10,000.
- Basement - is it dry or is there signs of water? Now depending whether it is a block basement or a poured wall basement depends on what is will cost you to repair a wet basement. Many times a Oakland County foreclosure will have the power shut off and the sump pump will back up. Then their will be water in the basement. A poured wall basement is usually easier and less expensive to fix water problems than block basements.
- Furnace - how does the furnace look. Is it old or rusty? Many times you can't tell about the furnace until the inspector checks it out.
- Water heater - the water heater usually has a manufacture date on it. This is the least expensive. You should be able to get one replace for about $500 - $700 depending on the size.
As a Oakland County first time home buyer you need to check all these items out. You don't want to buy a home that going to cost you a ton of money to upgrade or to bring the home up to date. If you can buy an updated home for less than what it would cost you to upgrade the home then it may be smarter to buy the upgraded home. Of course you have to be able to afford the upgrades more expensive house too.
Whether you an Oakland County first time home buyer or an experienced home buyer looking at these eight items and determining which ones need attention. The more items that are good the better the house as far as I am concerned.