Shopping for a great new home is all fun and games until you’re touring the many Las Vegas home options available. After all, every home looks good on paper, but the home tours are where issues really start to stand out. There are countless homes to choose from in the entertainment capital of the world, but there are a few signs that a home is a sure-fire winner — and a complete dud.
If you’re new to the home buying world, consider this your best guide to choosing the ideal Las Vegas home. After all, there are a lot of great options out there and it can be hard to tell the difference between a diamond in the rough and just another piece of gravel. Here are some of the top five signs of a great home — along with five signs that the home should be avoided at all costs.
The Good: A New Roof
The average roof lasts for about 20 years with the proper maintenance. While homes in Las Vegas aren’t as battered by the weather as a home in North Dakota, there are still a lot of issues that could arise if an older home is sporting outdated residential roofing. Anything from water damage to pest infestations to structural damage could occur when a roof starts to give. That’s why it’s a great sign if a home has a brand new roof.
Roofing that’s only a few years old is still a great sign for a new homeowner. This expensive cost has already been taken care of by the previous owner and will undoubtedly save you money when you first buy the home. Knowing that you won’t have to replace a large structure on your home will not only help keep money in your pocket, but it can also give you peace of mind.
Before you sign any papers, however, be sure to ask the person or company selling the home if there has been a quality roof and siding inspection, as well. Some roofs that seem brand new may have just had another layer of asphalt shingles overlayed on top of the older layers. This also goes for your home’s siding. If the home is very old, it might even have some roofing layers built with asbestos. Rely on reputable siding contractors to inspect the home before signing that dotted line.
If a home has a well-maintained yard, it’s usually safe to assume that the rest of the home is well cared for.
Keep in mind that not every yard in Las Vegas will have a green lawn. Being situated in the desert means that you’ll likely have a lot of dirt with a scattering of pretty desert plants here and there. In some cases, you might even have a few tropical trees to give you a little shade from the warm Las Vegas sun, but this isn’t always the case. Most homes in Las Vegas that sport lush, green lawns are usually outfitted with a high-quality sprinkler system installation designed to last for years to come. If the presence of a green lawn is a must, look for Las Vegas home options that already have the “groundwork” laid for a lawn.
But a great yard in Las Vegas doesn’t have to be green for you to enjoy spending time outdoors. Good yards will include positive features like an even, level gradient and a little effort when it comes to landscaping and hardscaping. You might even find luck looking for Las Vegas home options sporting outdoor kitchens or an in-ground pool if that’s something you desire in a home. Since winter never plagues sin city, homeowners can experiment with many different hardscaping options to make up for the lack of greenery.
You might also want to consider if a fence is a dealbreaker for you or not. Fences can be an expensive venture for some, but many homeowners demand a chain link fence to keep their dogs and children safe in the yard. Fences also act as an additional form of security since it keeps people with wandering eyes further away from your home. While this might not be at the top of your home checklist, this is still an important factor to consider when you assess your budget with Las Vegas home options.
Updated Heating and Cooling
While cooling is essential for a Las Vegas home, you might think that heating your home is the last thing you have to do in Nevada. But the nights here can get quite cold and, of course, air conditioning is a must if you hope to survive the sweltering summers. Before you come to terms with buying another window air conditioner, be sure to ask about the furnace in the home.
Nowadays, the need for furnace repair and AC repair can be done in the same breath. Most units are two-in-one, making it handy for the repairman to do their job efficiently. If your potential new home has a modern heating and cooling system, this is a huge pro for a Las Vegas home. Newer models are more energy-efficient than their older counterparts which means you will certainly save some money in the long-run. This is just one sign that you have a potentially great home on your hands.
Everything Works When You Touch It
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book to tell whether a house is good or not: as soon as you enter the home, touch everything.
Turn on lights, twist faucets, flush the toilet, and open the electronic garage door. You should also test opening the windows, closing all of the doors, and even tasting the water (though plumbers will say that filters are often necessary for Las Vegas plumbing). All of these simple utilities should work without hesitation. If anything doesn’t work according to plan, you should ask what the property owner plans to do to rectify the situation. This might be a good bargaining tool if you love the home but there are a few small issues.
A Recent Inspection
While you’ll need to rely on specialty contractors to assess the quality of your roof and siding, a home inspection for the rest of the property is essential. If the realtor doesn’t have a recent inspection of the home, you should immediately cross this listing off of your Las Vegas home options. This is because home realtors don’t simply forget to perform a home inspection; in most cases, they’re trying to cover up something from potential buyers.
It’s the job of a home inspector to ensure that the house is up to code and structurally sound. They might also look for signs of pest infestations, electrical issues, working fire sprinkler system installation, and a number of other problems that could make the home not suitable for selling. If a home seller refuses to allow a home inspection, run the other way and look for other Las Vegas home options.
Now, let’s talk about some of the things you should avoid when it comes to searching for Las Vegas home options.
The Bad: Strange Smells
If a homeowner is trying to use too many candles to mask the smell of the home, be sure to blow them out. You need to be able to smell if there are any underlying issues with the property, literally. The smell of gas could mean that a pipeline burst while the smell of must could foretell some water damage. Many of these smells are simple issues that are easily fixed by a quality plumber, but deep-set damage might cost you more to fix in the long run.
Pet odors and the smell of smoke are two more complicated smells. It can take a long time to remove these scents from your floors and walls. While this doesn’t mean that the house is a total goner, you should have the resolve to get rid of the smell by hiring professional cleaners and painters before you sign the dotted line. In some cases, you might be able to get the realtor or current homeowner to cover the costs.
Homes in Nevada are known for their ranch style. That typically means that you will have a lot of Las Vegas home options consisting of single-floor homes with little storage available in the form of basements or attics. But even these homes should be equipped with closets and a garage with the proper garage flooring to keep your goods safe.
This is especially necessary for large families and those who like to invest in plenty of hobbies. If a home lacks the ability to properly accommodate its inhabitants, then it’s better left to another person that prefers the use of storage facilities. These options are great to hold onto cherished memories and seasonal goods, but you don’t want to rely on storage facilities to hold your necessary items because your home has no space.
Many Other Homes Are Being Sold In the Area
It’s not uncommon for a few homes in each neighborhood to go up for sale around the same time. This is particularly common in the summer when moving is the easiest. But if there are a great many homes all being sold at the same time, this is cause for concern. Why is there a mass exodus from the neighborhood?
This typically means that the neighborhood has started to become unsafe, but it might also refer to rising tax rates or folks trying to get away from new construction projects in the area. As you approach your potential Las Vegas home, don’t forget to assess the rest of your neighborhood to see if it’s worth living in.
Cracks On the Walls
Signs of cracking drywall can foretell a potentially serious foundation issue, especially in older homes. As a home ages, the foundation will gradually settle and cause minute shifts in the home. This, in turn, results in cracking in the walls, warping of the floors, and other structural issues that can put the home at risk. If you happen to notice any of these signs, be sure to ask the seller what they plan to do to fix the problem. This is a costly expense that could make a good home a total dud.
Some less recognizable signs of foundation issues include sticking doors, hard-to-open windows, and slanted floors. Rest assured that there are other Las Vegas home options that are less costly to fix.
Even though Las Vegas is one of the driest areas in the United States, there are still plenty of reasons to invest in a ventilation system for your home. Between cooking, showers, sump pumps, and more, moisture needs to escape your home properly or mold will build up. Just like you would normally check for insulation, be sure to check for the proper ventilation, too.
Searching for the right home in the vast sea of Las Vegas home options can be harder than it looks. With these tips, however, your job will be a little easier. Rely on this piece to help find a Las Vegas home that works for your family.