Features to Consider When Buying a Home With an FHA Mortgage
Not all homes come with ceiling fans installed, and in warmer climates this can be a drawback, to say the least. A home that does not have them installed might have other issues such as mold or mildew, but this will depend greatly on how the house was maintained and how often.
Yes, this is a nod to “curb appeal” but depending on where the home is located exterior lights can also provide additional safety. Having a clear view to the sidewalk and driveway at night is important, especially in areas subject to a lot of snow.
If the appliances in the home are old, or are not Energy Star-rated, they may be a liability when it comes time to pay the utility bills. Some Energy Star rated appliances can save as much as 25% on their operating costs, which is more important than ever in an age where inflation and fossil fuel costs are rising.
Energy-Efficient Windows and Doors
Good storm doors and energy-efficient windows are a must. If the windows and doors of the home(s) you’re looking at seem in poor repair or just aren’t efficient, consider the cost of replacing these and revisit whether the home is worth the expense. If the windows and/or doors are a problem, the age of other features in the home may also be a factor to consider.
Carpet or Hardwood Floors?
Carpets tend to need replacing every 10 years or so, where hardwood floors provide a more natural look that is more potentially allergen-free. If the houses you are looking at contain mostly carpet, ask about the state of the floor beneath and whether converting to a hardwood floor is feasible, if that’s what you are after.
If you prefer carpet, be sure to ask about the age of the material currently installed, who installed it if known, and how much it may have cost. It’s a smart idea to treat carpets like the roof--assume a replacement will be needed when you buy at some point.
Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to reject a home missing any of these features--you can in some cases upgrade a home using an FHA Energy-Efficient Mortgage add-on to the loan. Those funds can be used to add more efficient windows, storm doors, ceiling fans, and other energy-related options.
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