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 Manager of Social Media 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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