When you buy a house, you go through a checklist in your mind. You think about how it will work with your kids’ activities; you think about the space and how it can work for you. You look at how secure it is, the insulation, the potential for expansion. All well and good, checks that should definitely be made…
… But you can’t check for everything, can you?
On some levels, buying a house is little more than a gamble. All you have to go on is a few viewings and, from that, you then hand over more money than you will ever see in actual bills. Put like that, it’s terrifying.
So let’s say you make your choice. You get all the right answers to the questions you know you can ask and you’re as prepared as any prospective new homeowner can be. What happens next if you get hit by one of the unpredictables? Is there anything you can do about those?
Unwelcome House Surprise #1: Flooding
You can ask for information on how flood-prone a house might be, but whether you get a truthful answer is another matter. Then there is always the fact that even if a house has never flooded before, a change or development in your area can suddenly increase your risk.
Solutions? Buy sandbags and plenty of them. It’s a just-in-case scenario that might end up taking space in your garage, but it’s worth it for the other just in case – in case you need them. If you felt you were misled about the flood-proneness of the house prior to sale, you also might have a legal case.
Unwelcome House Surprise #2: Nightmare Neighbors
There is a preventative step that you can take with nightmare neighbors, and that’s to view the house at different times of day before buying. A road that is silent at 3 pm on a Tuesday might be very different at 9 pm on a Friday, so at the very least, go for a drive around the area in the evening hours.
If you do find yourself saddled with bad neighbors, then step one is to ask politely. Explain the situation, the problems their noise is causing and see what happens. If they don’t respond reasonably, they don’t be embarrassed to take the issue to local enforcement.
Unwelcome House Surprise #3: Water Woes
Hard water is a problem that sounds like it isn’t one – until all appliances that come into contact with H2O begin to break down. You can check a map to see if a region you’re thinking of buying in is prone to hard water, but they can be variable in their accuracy.
If it’s causing a real problem, then it makes sense to get it seen to. Go for one of the top systems for water softener softening for one of the few times in life you can actually flush away your issues.
Unwelcome House Surprise #4: It’s Haunted
Okay, so it’s probably not haunted – though thousands of people swear they have problems in their home. If you feel uncomfortable, there’s nothing wrong with asking a priest to take a sweep through. Anything that helps you and your children sleep better at night is always welcome, right?