How many times have you heard the story about people who move into their dream home only to find out that there’s a huge plumbing issue or noisy neighbors next door? Learn from their mistakes, and reconsider certain factors before signing on the dotted line. Here’s a comprehensive checklist for homebuyers when it comes to deal breakers:

  1. Plumbing: If the plumbing’s not working, guess who has to spend money fixing it? You got it: the person who signs on the dotted line. Plumbing issues can be even harder to address in older homes that have an outdated set-up. Be sure your inspector conducts a thorough evaluation before closing
  2. Electrical System: Whatever’s not there has to be added, and whatever is not working has to be fixed. And since we’re talking about electricity, you could be literally playing with fire when it comes to outdated systems.
  3. Roof: Here comes the leaks. Or the potential leaks that will pop up after your first winter at the new place. You don’t want anything getting in between you and your Christmas dinner, so make sure the home has a roof that is reliable and can be easily maintained.
  4. Location: If you want a home by the beach, don’t buy a home in the city. But departing from the obvious, keep in mind how noisy or quiet your street is or how close your home is from the things that affect your lifestyle.
  5. Layout: Similar to the location, you want to make sure your future house is laid out as close to what you had in mind as possible. If the bedrooms are too small to fit two kids per room, it will be costly to make those upgrades.
  6. Placement: This detail is often overlooked. Your home might be laid out perfectly and in a location you approve of, but it might be placed too far or too close from the street. Your home could also be smooshed against another house not allowing for any privacy, or it could be too secluded. Before buying, take a good look around the outside of the home, not just the inside.
  7. Flooding: Make sure you’re aware of whether or not your home is at risk of flooding, and don’t dismiss this factor just because you’re not close to a body of water. A slope in the road combined with a bad draining system can have your front porch swimming with the fish after a heavy rainfall.
  8. Upgrade Restrictions: Don’t get carried away with upgrade ideas before first double-checking that there are no local restrictions. Ask the local municipality directly, given that the seller may not even know for sure.
  9. History: In essence, make sure that your house has been patched up correctly through the years. You don’t want to invest in a place that appears fine but may actually start collapsing after a few months.

Also keep in mind that the things that may inconvenience you now will also inconvenience a future buyer. Make sure you’re not locking yourself into a bad deal.

Source: Zillow; LearnVest