What to Look Out For When Buying a New House

When someone is looking for a new house, they are seeking the best offer they can find. And, as expected, the seller is doing everything in his power to convince a potential buyer that the property is their dream house.

However, the new property you’re looking at might not necessarily be the dream home you envisioned. Lots of folks buy houses based on a reasonable price as well as an appealing exterior and interior. Yet, it’s only later that real problems emerge. This is why buying a house should be a careful, time-consuming process, rather than a rushed one with a bad ending.

First-time home-buyers face a challenge since they don’t have experience in the home buying arena. There are many mistakes first-time buyers make regardless if they are buying new construction or a re-sale home. So, if you want to overcome all the obstacles, here are five things to pay attention to before investing in your first house.

Things to Look For Buying New House The Location

One of the best first-time buyer tips is making sure you pay more attention to other things besides the home. The location is something you might find out about before visiting the house – in case you look up houses online. The neighborhood and overall area surrounding the house is not an aspect you should overlook, as it’s one of the most important things when it comes to your well-being in the home.

Is the area peaceful? Have there been any house break-ins or crimes in the area? Can children safely play in the neighborhood without encountering dangers? These are all questions you should find an answer to.

You have the chance to take a look at the area on the road towards your possible future home, but often, that’s not enough to understand the situation you’re getting into. Make sure to look on the Internet for any information that will give you peace of mind… or not.

Concurrently, how close is the area to bus stops, your workplace, or a school for the kids? Access to local transportation is vital if you have kids, or you have a tendency to go out a lot and don’t want to drive.

Loud Music Playing

Have you ever used loud music to mask the sound of something else? That’s the exact same method some house sellers/agents use to convince people to buy the property.

Some areas are quite noisy, and if you’re sensitive to noise, this aspect could quickly put you off. It is not only music, though. A central fan or another noisy appliance could be turned on to prevent you from hearing the noise outside.

Unless you’re okay with living in an area where screams, loud music, cars passing by and anything of the sort disturbs your peace, don’t miss the chance to hear the environment.

If the seller is blasting the music so loud that the windows vibrate, politely ask him to turn it off so you can listen to the area closely. Determining the noise level will prevent you from ending up somewhere you don’t want to be. After all, you need to sleep and rest properly, not wake up with bloodshot eyes each morning.

Natural Light

Many people overlook the importance of natural light in the house, despite being one of the most relevant things to happiness. If you spend a lot of time at home, you’ll want to have some quality light and not rely on electricity to light your path, so to speak. Not to mention that it will just make the inside of the house look better too.

You most likely don’t want to live like a caveman – so, schedule visits at the house during specific times of the day to see how much light it gets. If it’s not enough light, you might want to reconsider your choice, unless you’re willing to spend more cash on renovations and making changes to the current windows or lighting system.


This aspect might be overlooked by house buyers. When you’re just visiting a house, and you’re not accustomed to the temperature, it’s easy to look past it. Nevertheless, the temperature is often a concern, especially if the house you buy hasn’t been built recently.

It’s essential to keep in mind that an old house could have appliances that are out of date, malfunctioning, or not working anymore at all. A defective heating system will not be able to warm you up enough during winter, or if you live in a colder area. In this case, if you end up purchasing the house, you’ll have to spend some additional money on replacements or reparations. And these aren’t cheap. This is the kind of issue a seller should fix before selling but often don’t.

A dysfunctional heating unit could also “devour” all of your cash on electricity bills, and that’s the least pleasant scenario after already spending money on a new house.

Ask the seller or agent about the heating system of the house, and tell them you want to see it. If there’s any hesitation, that’s a red flag. If you notice any defects or an aged-up unit, you might want to reconsider buying the house. Don’t forget to also ask the seller to turn on the units – this way, you can notice any unusual sounds that give off the condition of the appliance.

At the same time, if you want to eliminate the possibility of a dysfunctional heating system altogether, look for a newer house with a more modern, functional furnace.

Water Damage Signs

This could be an issue with a lot of properties. Water damage is extremely annoying and difficult to deal with – especially if we’re talking about the damage that has occurred a long time ago, yet nothing was done to fix or prevent it any further.

Water damage can be anywhere in the house, so don’t forget to take a good look at the walls as you’re walking from a room to another. If there was water damage that’s been dealt with and repaired, it’s not such a big problem. However, water damage left untouched must have already affected the house and possibly even led to mold.

Living in such a home is not a pleasant thought, and it could also affect your health. Not to mention that new problems might arise as a result.

However, you must pay close attention because sometimes, water damage can be masked by paint. Agents or sellers might do this to trick you into purchasing the property, and then you’ll have to deal with the rest yourself.

If the paint is used over water damage, this will only trap the water inside the wall, and encourage the formation of mold. That doesn’t sound very good, does it?

Not to mention that black mold especially is not healthy to breathe. Try to detect any potential water damaged area by looking at toilet bases, bases of tubs, and under window stills. Leaks might exist if you notice warps in the Sheetrock. Always check the basement for water problems. The basement is where many water issues in a home occur.

Any potential leaks or water damage should be disclosed by the seller/agent. If they are hidden from you and you end up discovering them yourself, who knows what else the seller “forgot” to mention?

Final Thoughts

Use these five first-time house buyer tips to see if you notice anything wrong with a house. Take a good look at the indoors, as well as the exterior aspect, including the driveway, garage, heating system, and more. Since it’s your first time looking for a property of your own, the last thing you want is to end up with a damaged building or one that is not comfortable enough.

Don’t hesitate to ask the agent about anything you want to know about the property. It’s your right to know – after all, you’re the one spending the money. Whether you are buying new or old, it makes sense to do as much due diligence as necessary to get a comfortable feeling.

Hopefully, these tips will help you find your dream house.

Additional Helpful Home Buying Articles Worth Checking Out

  • Problems when buying a new house – see some of the most common pitfalls when buying new construction so you can avoid them. It is easy to find yourself in hot water, especially when buying a new home.
  • What to know before buying a home – learn some of the most essential things to research before committing to purchasing a home. By not doing proper research you could make a significant mistake.

Use these well written articles to make excellent real estate decisions when buying a home.

Ran Keller


About the author: The above article on things to watch out for when buying a new house was written by Ran Keller. Ran is an experienced handyman who’s been working for Elite Garage Door Of Tacoma for ten years. When he’s not fixing garage doors, he likes to share his home improvement ideas and knowledge with others.