How to Avoid the 10 Biggest Mistakes Buying a New Home
Mistake No. 4 – Not Fully Checking the Exterior:
Beauty is Only Skin Deep
Before horse traders buy a horse, they look beyond its obvious appearance.
They carefully examine its teeth, posture, and feet, and look for any scars or
wounds. When considering a home for purchase, you should similarly poke and prod
at its exterior to truly assess its underlying quality and condition. However,
it’s a common mistake for many home buyers to become so infatuated with a home’s
appearance, they are blinded to many other important factors that affect their
overall enjoyment of a home.
Two checklists are provided to help get past the emotion and objectively assess
the exterior condition of each home under consideration. First, there is an ‘Exterior
Design and Materials Checklist’ that can be completed using an ‘Exterior
Design and Material Guidelines Table’ provided as reference. However,
recognize that the generic guidelines provided reflect the author’s emphasis on
practicality and durability. They can be supplemented or replaced by opinions
from other experts or your own research. For instance, wood shake is ranked the
least desirable roofing material in this guide even though it is perceived as a
premium choice by many designers and owners. This determination was made because
wood shake roofing was considered too short-lived, and impractical in fire-prone
or humid regions. Similarly, crushed granite is considered an attractive paving
material by many landscape designers, but is rated the least desirable patio,
walk or drive in this guide. This is because it cannot be easily cleared of
snow, needs regular maintenance to avoid weed growth, and can lead to a lot of
dirt being tracked indoors. The second checklist is the ‘Exterior
Condition Checklist’ that helps examine critical components of a home’s
exterior based on easily observable areas of concern.
The checklists provided in this section are only intended to help make initial
assessments for comparing different home choices. Once a home becomes a serious
option for your final purchase, consider investing in the services of the most
appropriate experts (see Mistake No. 9) based on specific areas of concerns
identified in this checklist.