It’s that frigid time of the year again. That may or may not stop you from going out to look at homes. If you’re buying in the Northeast and willing to brave the arctic chill, wintertime home shopping is a fantastic time to scope out the winter survivability. Here’s a quick round up of some stuff you can check out yourself, with minimum knowledge!
1. Check all the heating equipment. Homes can be heated any number of ways. It’s obviously good to factor in what the home’s heating system is (oil, natural gas, fire, geothermal, or any combination thereof). Once you determine that, check to see if it all actually works and is in good condition.
a. Check the oil tank for leaks and general condition.
b. Test out the thermometer, it’s great if you can set the heat to trip at a lower temperature and verify that it works.
c. Make sure any filters have been regularly serviced.
2. Check out the windows. It’s usually pretty obvious what condition windows are in, and if it’s poor they may be drafty. Scope out the windows and doors for gaps or general disrepair.
3. Look at some of the pipes. Pipes are susceptible to freezing if left alone in the cold for a long period of time (like if you go on vacation). It’s a sign of good housekeeping if they’ve got some insulation or other anti-freezing measure on the pipes.
4. Most importantly, know the home’s weaknesses. A home may have a single point of failure in the wintertime. If everything needs electricity to run, you’re out of luck if you lose electricity. Oftentimes, thermometers and pilot lights require electricity, so you won’t get heat even if you’re not using electricity for heat itself. Ask your realtor or current occupant, and maybe think about a backup system like batteries or a generator.
Are you thinking about buying a home? I’m happy to help. Reach out anytime to Stephen Dougherty at 215-485-0082. Or browse through area listings with our comprehensive search tool.