Buying a new home is something that takes a whole lot of important research and preparation. For starters, the home needs to be something you can be able to afford beyond just paying the listing price. Though that is also going to be something you need to figure out with respect to down payments, a home loan, fixed or adjustable rates on that loan, interest rates, and so on.
As for the affordability beyond the upfront payment, are you prepared to pay for the necessary renovations, repairs, and various other expenses that come with home ownership? For instance, we typically forget about property taxes and other such costs that come with owning a home.
Let’s be honest, owning a home in today’s market is not cheap and that includes paying off the various other fees and taxes that come along with it. Beyond the costs that come with owning your home, you need to also consider the several other components that make up the purchase of a home.
You will need to think about square footage. Is the home big enough for you and your family, whether you have one now or are planning to have one in the future. Speaking of family, you should also choose a home that is located in a good school district.
What about the value of the home? Is it in a neighborhood where the value is likely to go up or stay flat without much growth? These are all the things you really need to think about as you do your search for the best home.
But while you may think that’s a lot to consider, you haven’t even examined the actual home yet. Sure, you’ll want to talk to engineers and electricians and inspectors and a whole slew of other experts about any number of structural and interior components of the dwelling itself, but when it comes to assessing the home, you really should start with the windows, according to Andersen doors Richmond, VA.
Checking Your Windows
So why start with the windows? A couple of reasons, all of which point to one question that can help make or break your decision as to whether you’re going to buy that house or not: How soon will you need to replace them? This is particularly important if the home you’re looking to buy is an older one that has been around for quite some time.
Your realtor will tell you when the house was built and how long it has been on the market, how many owners it has had and so on. What they may not tell you up front is how old the windows are. But that’s also important because older windows tend to break down and the older they are, the more likely their malfunctions are to manifest themselves.
So the first thing to do is walk around the house and test the windows. Do they open and shut properly? Do any of them stick or pose some kind of issue when you try to open them? What about closing the windows, do they shut all the way or do you find yourself struggling to operate the window in a normal manner?
Windows that don’t close correctly will typically have gaps between the window and the frame. Those gaps can be extremely costly because the window now lacks energy efficiency. That means you will likely be running your heating and cooling much longer than need be just to retain a comfortable interior temperature in the home. You can expect to see your electricity costs rise if that’s the case and maybe these windows are going to cost you too much in the long run. Don’t rely on window treatments to help you cut those costs either, an open gap where air can move freely from the indoors to out and vice versa is a problem for your wallet.
Talk to Your Realtor
Now all of this can be avoided if you ask your realtor how old the windows are and they give you a date as to when they were last installed. If that date is more than 15 years from the time you are walking through the house and testing these windows, you’re going to need to replace them. Full stop. That might affect the asking price or at least your bid for the home, because those costs are going to be incurred by you to update your windows shortly after you move in.
If the realtor can’t give you a date as to the age of the windows, you might also consider this a red flag and maybe this home is going to cost you a whole lot more after you buy it.
For new homes with new windows, find out who did the installation and if there is a warranty on the windows. Both of these questions will also help you save a lot of money.