The Ultimate First Time Homebuyers Guide

This resource guide, compiled by a team at The Home Depot, is designed to assist first-time homebuyers through the process of evaluating a home’s condition and understanding some of the most common repairs and renovations a house may require.

Presented by The Home Depot Taking the step from renter to homeowner is one of the most empowering and memorable moments in a person’s life. Before investing savings and committing to a mortgage agreement, however, it’s important to thoroughly inspect the home you want to buy and to understand the extent and cost of renovations it may need. This resource guide, compiled by a team at The Home Depot, is designed to assist first-time homebuyers through the process of evaluating a home’s condition and understanding some of the most common repairs and renovations a house may require. The guide spans topics that include foundations, roofingplumbingheating and cooling and the electrical system. What to Look For During Your Home Inspection From the foundation to the roof to the electrical system, understand the basics during your walkthrough.Click Here 1. Is the home structurally secure? DIY Home Inspector Checklist: 25 Places to Watch Before signing a contract, look out for the most common (and costly) problems. Click Here Six Signs that the Home Could Be a Lemon Look out for common signs of hidden major problems. Click Here Signs of Foundation Problems to Look Out For A home without a solid foundation can be a serious money pit. Click Here How to Assess the Severity of a Home Foundation Problem Notice cracks or fissures? Evaluate the extent of the damage before proceeding. Click Here Identifying Termites and Termite Damage These pests can be tough to eradicate, and they can literally eat you out of house and home. Click Here Look Out for Mold and Moisture Established mold can affect your family’s health and require extensive renovations. Click Here How to Inspect Vinyl Siding Vinyl is affordable and attractive, but can hide damage underneath. Click Here 2. Do You Have a Solid Roof Over Your Head? Evaluate the Condition of the Roof From curling shingles to buckling, roof issues may be part of your negotiation process. Click Here Seven Signs That You Need a New Roof Look out for these common issues atop your new home. Click Here How to Find (and Fix) Leaks in a Roof Don’t be caught off-guard by the first rainstorm in your new home. Click Here How to Replace a Roof – VIDEO Understand what it takes to repair and replace your new home’s roof. Click Here 3. Big Ticket Plumbing Issues to Inspect Home Plumbing Inspection Checklist Get the big picture of how water flows through the home. Click Here How to Check for Hidden Leaks in Your Home’s Plumbing System – VIDEO Are your pipes watertight? Click Here Warning Signs of a Water Leak In Your Home – VIDEO Look out for telltale indications of potentially drastic plumbing problems. Click Here Is There a Clog in Your Main Sewer Line? (Outbound flow of water) Ensure that your wastewater has a clear path out of the home. Click Here Is There a Problem With Your Inbound Flow Causing Low Water Pressure? Nobody likes a shower without enough water pressure. Click Here Does the Water Heater Need to Be Replaced? Reliable hot water is a necessity that should come with a home. Click Here 4. Check the Heating System Heating System – Check for Safety and Performance What type of heating system does the home have? Click Here Check That the Furnace Works Properly Don’t buy a house during summer and be caught in the cold in the winter. Click Here Furnace Troubleshooting Checklist Some furnace issues may require only a quick fix — others could affect the sale price. Click Here Buying an Older Home? How to Troubleshoot a Hot Water and Steam Distribution System Make sure you have a qualified repairman before purchasing an antiquated system. Click Here How to Troubleshoot a Forced Air Distribution System If you have hot air but no flow, the problem may only be the fan. Click Here 5. Check the Cooling System Check That the HVAC System Works Properly Replacing an HVAC is expensive — make sure yours will last for years to come. Click Here Do You Need to Replace the A/C Unit? Educate yourself to negotiate a new system if the existing one is failing. Click Here Central Air Conditioning System Inspection Gauge the condition and lifespan of the existing units. Click Here Air Conditioning / Heat Pump Repair Guide Oftentimes a repair can add years to a system’s lifespan. Click Here 6. Check the Home’s Energy Efficiency Conduct a Home Energy Assessment – VIDEO How much power will the home require? Click Here Are the Doors and Windows Tightly Sealed? Find gaps in your home’s seal before being stuck with a hefty heating and cooling bill. Click Here Look for Efficient Window Treatments Is the home designed to maximize energy efficiency? Click Here Gauge the Home’s Energy Yardstick to Measure the Building’s Energy Efficiency Get the big picture of what you can expect to spend each year on power. Click Here 7. Is the Electrical System Up to Code and Sufficient for Your Needs? Conduct a Basic Home Electrical Safety Check Look for signs of faulty wiring that could lead to a fire. Click Here How to Conduct a Home Electrical System Inspection – VIDEO Ensure that the wiring is solid and reliable. Click Here Is the Electrical System Up to Code? Don’t buy a house with wiring that doesn’t meet current standards. Click Here 10 Wiring Problems Solved Many electricity issues can be quickly fixed — others require a major overhaul. Click Here  Determining the Capacity of a Residential Electric Service Will the home meet your anticipated power needs? Click Here 8. Is the home prepared for a natural disaster or severe weather? What Do You Need to Make Sure Your Home is Ready for a Storm? Be confident that the house can withstand high winds. Click Here Are There Steps in Place to Avoid a Home Fire? Check that the home is not at unnecessary risk for a fire. Click Here Are You Ready for a Flood? How to Install a Sump Pump Invest in a pump to avoid devastating damage from a flood. Click Here For more great tips check out The Home Depot on Facebook and Twitter.  Read more home buyer tips and resources.

Lindsay is the Senior Manager of Media Engagement for Coldwell Banker Real Estate and is a licensed real estate agent. She was born and raised in New Jersey and just bought her first home in Livingston, where she grew up. When Lindsay isn’t busy facebooking, tweeting or instagramming she is enjoying life with her husband Joe and cat Rory. She enjoys binging on Netflix, cooking and Zumba.

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