If you’re planning to buy your first home this year, congratulations! Owning your own home can be a rewarding and fun experience – and it can pay off for you financially, too.

But, as any experienced homeowner will tell you, homeownership also comes with a lot of responsibility. If something breaks in your house, it’s on you, not a landlord, to fix it.

When shopping for a home, it’s important to do your research and make sure you don’t end up purchasing a piece of property that leaves you in a financial bind. Before you take out a mortgage, here are the five questions you need to ask.

  1. How old are the appliances and the HVAC system? Ask about the age of major appliances, including your water heater, refrigerator, and washer and dryer. The lifespan of appliances can vary, but if they are more than 10 years old, you are probably looking at having to replace them in the near future. In addition, your HVAC system will deteriorate over time. Regular annual maintenance and proper care will help extend the life, but after 10 – 15 years, you will begin to see a breakdown. Check out this guide to what you should be looking for in a heating and cooling system when purchasing a new home from our sister brand One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning.
  2. How old are the home’s structural features? You can probably plan on getting a few decades out of a house’s roof, windows, or gutters. But if they’re past the 20-year mark, you’ll want to start budgeting for replacements.
  3. Have there been any plumbing issues, such as burst pipes or a backed-up sewer? These can lead to water damage, which can then lead to mold and mildew growth. Water damage is among the most common reasons for homeowners’ insurance claims, so you’ll want to make sure you are well-informed about any potential problems.
  4. Do all of the electrical outlets work? Malfunctioning outlets can be dangerous, leading to shocks or house fires. If the outlets in the house spark when you plug or unplug something, you need to have those repaired. Our sister brand, Mister Sparky, explains why you should hire a licensed electrician to make sure all of your outlets are in proper working order. An electrician can also add additional outlets to accommodate your technology needs.
  5. If there are trees growing around the property, could roots be a problem? As they grow toward sources of water, roots can end up clogging pipes – which can lead to backed up drains and possibly even a complete blockage. It’s important to do routine checks/maintenance on pipes, because when pipes begin to leak, tree roots begin to grow towards the water source, potentially growing into and clogging the pipe. If you’re concerned about potentially hazardous trees, our sister brand Monster Tree Service can do an assessment for you. And of course, our experts at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing can help unclog any drains or pipes – request an appointment today or give us a call at 877-BEN-1776.

Enjoy your new home, and don’t hesitate to give us a call with any of your plumbing needs!