Are you tired of living in a home that's owned by somebody else? Do you want to move out of a cramped apartment and into a more spacious house? Aside from offering more room and creative freedom when it comes to decorating, a house can be a good investment towards your future.
However, in order for it to be a good investment, you need to make sure that you get the best house for your needs. Some things that you should consider before buying a single family home include:
Roof condition: It's easy to forget to look up when you see what looks like the perfect house. Unfortunately, replacing the roof on single family homes can be expensive. Because of this, you'll want to look for shingles that appear to be curling, deformed, or discolored. Some asphalt shingles can attract a relatively harmless type of algae that discolors shingles to a green or black color, so you may want to seek a professional opinion as to whether or not the singles are worn out if their color is off.
Shingles that are discolored due to age have lost some or most of the colored pebbles that cover the top of the shingles. If the roof does appear to be damaged or worn out, skip purchasing the house unless you are prepared to replace the roof immediately since you may have to do just that.
Strange smells: An empty home may smell "dusty" or "stale" when you tour it and that's fine. But single family homes should never smell like mold, mildew or anything else regardless of whether they are occupied or not.
A smell of mold or mildew can obviously indicate a mold problem, possibly caused by leaky pipes. A musty smell, especially when accompanied by an orange or brown dust, may indicate a serious problem with dry rot.
If the bathroom or kitchen drains smell bad, there may be a clog in the sewer line. Any of these things can be expensive to fix, so make sure to consult with a professional in order to find out if they apply to the home that you're considering.
Old paint: If a home appears not to have been painted in many years, possibly decades, that can be a cause for concern. If the owners didn't have the money to even repaint their harvest gold bathroom, it's possible that even more expensive things have been neglected. The air conditioner and water heater, for example, may not have been properly maintained and serviced. As a result, unfashionable paint or wallpaper may be more serious than simply being ugly.