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April 13, 2019 | home-buying

5 Questions to Ask Before Moving into Your New Home

Your moving day is almost here, and you can’t wait. Your bags are packed, the plans are made and you’re already picturing how you’ll lay out the bedroom, living room and kitchen. You’re brimming with excitement, and while it’s easy to picture all the amazing aspects of your new home, this is also a good time to think about the things that won’t be picture perfect.

While your home inspection will have hopefully found the major issues, there are a few questions you can ask your Realtor or the previous owner about your new home to understand potential problem areas and help you budget for future costs.

Ask these questions before you move in and nothing will be able to take the shine off your new home.

What is the age of your home’s roof? If you’re not fortunate enough to have your roof suffer insurance-covered damage courtesy of a storm, then it will need to be replaced eventually and the cost will be considerable. A common asphalt shingle roof will last 15-25 years, so understanding the roof’s current age will give you an idea of how much time you have left. Set aside money now to plan for this expense, as a new roof can cost $7,000-$20,000 depending on the size of your roof and the area where you live.

How much will your monthly utility costs be? Yes, in large part this will be dependent on usage, but it’s a good idea to get a baseline you can plan against. You should also ask about the types of energy used in the home, so you can gauge the nuances and plan for future instances where your current systems will need an energy overhaul.

Is warranty information available? If you're fortunate, your home’s previous owners will have kept a copy of the warranty information for the home’s appliances. Beyond telling you if any warranties are still applicable, these documents will give you information on the shelf life of some of your home’s most expensive components, allowing you to budget for replacements as necessary.

Any pipe problems? Burst pipes from a freeze are not common in Texas, but it’s always a good idea to be prepared. Your home inspector will likely have identified any instances of water damage in the home, but you should still ask and then be proactive to protect your pipes by insulating those in unheated areas and installing frost-proof spigots.

Has there ever been an infestation problem? While northern climates face more potential pipe ruptures, your chances of an infestation increase as you move south. From wasps and carpenter ants to termites and cockroaches, it behooves you to ask if your home has ever had any unwanted tenants. You can also ask neighbors if they’ve had a problem. Once you find the answer you can plan a prevention strategy, including replacing old wood and halting leaking water sources.

None of the answers to these questions should derail the excitement you have over your new home, but with a little extra planning you can make your house a home from day one.

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