If you are shopping for a new house, you might want it to be perfect without needing any sort of updates. However, sometimes you can't tell from just looking at the appearance of each room if a house really is move-in ready. Here are some things to think about as you search through listings for a single-family home that meets your criteria.
1. Exterior storage
The house itself might be perfect, but don't forget about exterior storage for things like rakes and lawnmower. If there is no room in the garage, then there should be a shed already on the property to hold these items.
2. New windows
A house can seem updated with new flooring and paint, as well as good bathroom and kitchen space, but the windows might still be the old single-pane or aluminum-frame windows of yesteryear. Check behind new window treatments to see if the windows are good in each room. In very old houses, check to see that the windows open because the pulley systems could be cut or the windows could be painted shut.
3. Roof quality
The roof is an often ignored feature of the home, but it is costly and inconvenient to replace. In a home that is ready to be moved into, the roof will still have several years of life left in it before it is time for a replacement. Ask the current owner when the roof was last replaced. Don't forget to check if the job was done by simply putting new shingles on top of old ones, as this makes the roof much more costly to fix down the road.
4. Gutters and drains
The house should have functioning gutters that are not sagging or pulling away from the roofline. When looking at a home, check for things like icicles (in the winter) and water damage on the exterior of the gutter (in the summer) because these indicate draining problems or leaks. Check the gutters to see if they are full of leaves and debris. Broken or missing gutters cause water problems on the roof, which are costly to repair.
5. Lights and outlets
Finally, check to see if the home has enough outlets. Nothing is more frustrating than moving in only to find that your kitchen or master bedroom only has one convenient outlet for everything you need. Installing more outlets or places for lights in the ceiling means hiring an electrician and even getting another inspection to make sure the work is up to code. When looking at houses, check the lighting and plug-in situation in each and every room.