Ask About These Features To Sweeten The Deal When You Look At Homes For Sale
One of the issues you'll encounter when trying to buy a home is the fact that, when you buy it, you're buying it in a certain condition. That means that if there's anything you don't like or would want to change, and you agree to buy the house as is, you could end up spending even more money after the sale in order to change those things. Sometimes this is normal -- for example, if you don't like the carpet color, that's not really the seller's issue. But there are items that affect how comfortable and safe you are, and you may want to ask about having them modified before you buy.
Roof Replacement or Maintenance
Always check about the roof's condition before you agree to buy. You'll have to get the house inspected before the purchase anyway, but if the sellers let you know that the roof is older, you can bet that at some point soon, you'll have to replace it. You can do one of two things in order to make this a better purchase for you. One is to ask for a reduced price on the house to account for the money you'll have to spend replacing the roof. The other option is to ask the sellers to have it replaced as a contingency. In other words, if they replace it, you'll buy the house; if they fail to replace it, you won't have to buy the house.
In hot housing markets, it may seem reckless to ask for deals like this. However, you have to keep in mind that your budget is just as important as the sellers' desire to get a good price. Your real estate agent can help guide you through negotiations like this.
HVAC Zoning or Installation
If the house has no HVAC system, or it has one system covering the entire place when it's a really big house, you may want to ask about rezoning the current system, or even installing a new system. Unless your house is right by a coast, there will be times in the year when the house is either too hot or too cold, and possibly too muggy. Being without an HVAC system can be very uncomfortable (remember, little wall furnaces don't remove humidity as well as central or mini-split systems), and having one zone cover a big house can result in a lot of disagreements over the use of the thermostat.
If you're buying a relatively new house, it should have insulated windows, at least double-paned, if not triple. But an older house might have old single-pane aluminum-frame windows that don't do a good job of keeping temperatures constant in the home. Again, ask about either reducing the price or having new window installation listed as a contingency on the contract.
Your real estate agent can help you pinpoint other issues that may need to be addressed. Conversely, he or she can also let you know if your request is one you should handle on your own, without making it a contingency. It is possible to get good deals on homes that, even if you have to modify parts of them, won't break your budget.