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You have a housing wish list most likely, with a desired layout, neighborhood, and finishes too right? Make yourself another house-hunting list that will allow you to identify any potential problems that your intended home might already have.

Problems are not necessarily in and of themselves deal breakers, but the smart buy when you are house hunting is one that is informed and follows a process. As you get going on your house hunt in Gloucester County, NJ, here are some things to take a look at before you buy that new home.

Flip Each and Every Switch

Turn the air conditioning and the furnace on and off, listening for odd noises and making sure that cold and/or hot air blows out of the registers as it should.

Check light switches to make sure that they go on properly. Try and figure out if any light switches are in place to turn on power sources, which could be a problem. Make note of this, that its fans work too.

If appliances are included in the purchase price, make sure that they are operational. No sense in paying for something that you’ll have to throw out.

The Case for Insulation

To save on costly heating bills, you need for your home to be air-tight. The first line of defense against the cold is insulation. Think of insulation as a sweater for your home.

Starting in the attic, make sure that there is enough insulation that it is wrapped and not water damaged. Other points to check out include the basement, garage walls, and exterior house walls.

If you do end up purchasing this home, you can make it even more airtight after you move in by caulking loose seals around windows, putting a protective film over the windows for the fall and winter, fixing weather stripping around doors and more. You’ll see a big difference in your heating bills.

Why You Need a Property Inspection

It may be tempting to skip the property inspection, especially if there are multiple buyers that are interested or if you are trying to cut costs, but think of the “what if” in this scenario.

What if, after you’ve signed on the dotted line, you discover costly damage or need for repairs that you’ve not budgeted for?

You could be in for financial hardship. Some people don’t feel that a property inspection is necessary with a newer home either, but that is a mistake.

Age isn’t the only factor that can cause a home’s structure to fail or for other things to need repairs. You need to educate yourself on all the facts so that you can make a qualified decision and plan for the future.