Sam's Home Buying Tips

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.