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Your first home: What to look for

You're searching for your first home. It's exciting, but you admittedly have no idea what to look for when you walk in the front door. You end up just looking for a home that is aesthetically pleasing, that suits your taste.

While this is where many people begin, it can be problematic. Remember, you can change the decorative style of any home. What you really want to look for is a home that is in good condition beyond that aesthetic appearance. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Forget about paint colors. This is the easiest thing to change. Never write off a house because you don't like the color scheme.
  • Check the roof for damage. If it's missing shingles or if you find water damage in the house, that's a massive red flag.
  • Consider the structure and functionality of the home more than how it looks. For instance, look for things like old wiring that needs to be replaced or damaged floorboards that have to be fixed.
  • Take a look at the home's systems and appliances. Check out the furnace, the water heater, the HVAC system and things of this nature. If they're old and outdated, that could be an expensive fix.
  • Test the pipes. Turn on the water in every room. Make sure it all works the way that it should. Remember that plumbing problems are common in older homes and can also be expensive to repair.

Essentially, you just want to look beyond things like paint colors and light fixtures and floor plans. Examine the home for what it really is. If you do decide to buy, make sure you know exactly what steps to take.

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