Shopping for a previously owned single-family home is a great way to save money and invest in an income property with a lot of potential. However, finding the right one can be tricky, since many markets are flooded with options. Here are three symptoms of a very well-maintained single-family home, so you aren't worried about moving in and finding unpleasant surprises.
1. Dusted Baseboards
Every person has a slightly different standard of cleanliness, but when it comes to the gold standard, baseboards should be dusted regularly and wiped down whenever they are smudged or scuffed. If the family who lived in a home before you focused on keeping baseboards clean, there's a strong liklihood that they wouldn't have left plumbing problems unchecked or skipped important painting jobs.
When you tour homes, pay attention to the baseboards. If you find a place that is an older home but that has immaculate baseboards, it probably isn't the only thing that has been carefully maintained over the years.
2. A Healthy Lawn
Lawns are another element of a home that can be tricky to maintain. Lawns need to be carefully watered, watched for insect damage, trimmed, and fertilized to maintain their rich green color and soft finish.
When you look at different homes, look at the lawn. Watch for signs of neglect such as weeds, dead patches, signs of previous watering problems, and issues with marshy areas.
3. Updated Components
When you look for a home, look for a place where they have carefully updated the components over the years. For instance, be on the lookout for new plumbing fixtures, updated appliances, and flooring that has only recently hit the market.
If a home has been carefully maintained over the years, many of the updates will have been there for a while, but will add value and interest to the property. During home tours, ask how long different elements have been in the home, or do your own research. A few reverse image searches could be all it takes to leran more about individual fixtures.
Remember, if you aren't sure which of the many single family homes for sale would work best for you and your family members, you can always turn to a real estate agent for some help. Talk with a realtor about where you want to live, what your budget is, and what you are thinking in terms of price and style. By selecting the right property, you can enjoy a comfortable home without a lot of extra projects.