By Erik Neilson  Thu Jan 30, 2014

5 Features You Should Avoid When Buying a Home

fireplace

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Shopping for a new home can be one of the most exciting experiences a family or individual can have in life. This being said, it’s not without its stress factors either. One thing that often causes confusion is what to look for in terms of home features. What many people overlook, however, is that some home features aren’t assets and should actually be avoided. Sometimes it’s more effective to know what to stay away from than it is to know what to look for, especially when it comes to buying a used home.

Take a look at the following five features commonly found in homes, each of which should be avoided.

Oil heat

Oil has been an exceptionally popular fuel used to heat homes in America for a very long time. Popular or not, however, there’s no arguing against the fact that oil can be extremely expensive when compared with other options. For those who are shopping for a home in a cold climate, the added costs can be too high to handle. Look instead for natural gas heating and you’ll save a veritable fortune each winter.

Built-in features

Walk into a home with built-in features such as shelving and mirrors, and chances are you might be impressed with how things look at first (especially if it’s well designed). What you may not think about, however, is the fact that you’ll be stuck with these build-ins for the duration of the time you own the home. Build-ins get old fast, and they can make it difficult to rearrange a room if that’s something you wish to do at some point—avoid them at all costs.

Excess carpeting

Carpets and rugs can certainly warm up a space pretty quickly but too much is too much. Wall-to-wall carpeting is not only unattractive and old-fashioned, but you never know what could be underneath it. Chances are there’s nothing there at all. Even if you wanted to remove the carpeting in such a scenario, you’ll still have to pay for new wood flooring, which can add thousands of dollars to the cost of the home. Stick with hardwood that has already been installed and perhaps throw a few nice rugs down once you move in.

Old fireplaces

Let’s face it, fireplaces can be extremely charming. They also come along with a great deal of problems, however, which makes it difficult to justify purchasing a home which features one. Fireplaces can be drafty and can facilitate the spread of dirt and dust throughout a home. Older fireplaces are a huge fire hazard; most landlords don’t even allow renters to utilize them anymore for fear of the potential damage that can come along with doing so. They may look attractive, but they’re more of a headache than anything else.

Any windows or skylights that face south

The direction your windows and skylights face may not seem like a big deal, but there’s a lot more to it than most people realize. South-facing windows can result in an excessive amount of sunlight during the midday, which most people find to be distracting and unappealing. That can result in leaks, making it important to take such things into consideration when shopping for a home. If the majority of a home’s windows face south, you may want to look elsewhere for a place to live—especially if you find yourself sensitive to the sun.

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