Buying a Home in NH- Home Inspector Prospective
So you want to live in New Hampshire, and you’re looking to buy a home? Hey, I get it I love the State. I have been to over 40+ States and I don’t know what it is but I can’t get over New Hampshire. Maybe it’s just because I call it home!
I am going to give a few suggestions on what type of homes to go with that are best suited for the New Hampshire environment. I will also give you some things to look out for and avoid if at all possible.
First the BAD
Block foundations don’t do so well here in New Hampshire here are some things that really affect these foundations.
The ground freezes and if the fill used to backfill has big rocks then most likely the frost is going to damage the wall.
We also get a lot of weather including rain. The rain will put a lot of pressure on the walls and cause them to crack. lean and bow.
The soil in NH has a lot of clay in areas, this clay will hold moisture. If the landscape around the home is not setup correctly you will have a lot of issues with your foundation.
Most block foundation I see is are letting in water. The reason for this fits in with the comments above. Because of the foundation cracks and lets in the water.
Now if you live in Nevada say, and your home is in the desert your all set. You won’t have frost and you will have sand for drainage. I would say 80% of the block foundations I see in NH are not in great shape.
Homes built on Slabs
It is pretty rare but once in a while, I will find a home that is built on a slab. Slabs are not built to handle frost unless you build a monolithic slab. Monolithic slabs are designed for garages and outbuilding such as sheds.
So stay away with a home put on a slab…unless say you are moving to Florida.
I understand why people buy these homes. They can be economical and a lot of people don’t need much. For the price, you get your own space and you don’t have to share walls like being in a condo or apartment building. Here is some reasons why they are a bad idea.
These homes were not built to handle the winter weather that we have in New England. Because of this, your heating bills will be high.
These home have no foundation. This can be a problem with water pipes freezing and drain pipes freezing. A lot of the time the underside of these homes attract vermin and they get into the mobile and its hard to get them out.
Low pitch roofs
It is highly recommended to a have your roof snow removed after every storm. These homes were not built for the snow load and they need to be cleared off. So not only will you need to clear your driveway you will need to clear off your roof?…. No thanks!
MOST MOBILE HOMES ARE NOT BUILT FOR NEW ENGLAND!
Now the GOOD!
Buy a home that has been maintained. So you might be asking yourself what does he mean? Well, I would say the majority of people buy a home and just live in it. They don’t do things to keep improving or maintain the product that is there. The truth is, homes need upkeep and if they don’t get it they quickly fall apart. Most people are to busy or they bought a home that they really can’t afford to do the maintenance on.
Hopefully, if you’re getting a home inspection your home inspector will point these things out to you! If you end up needing a roof, windows, boiler, updated electrical and rot damaged fixed you can be talking in the 10’s of thousands!
Now, this tends to tie into a maintained home. The costs involved for things like updated gfci or knob and tube to romex can carry a heavy cost. Some people don’t know that a heating system can cost a lot of money to replace. A roof that is done right and is stripped before the new roof is put on is another large cost. So do yourself a favor and don’t settle on a home!
The original house
We live in the great State of New Hampshire… Live Free or Die. A lot of homes have decks added or an addition added that was done from the homeowner or ” I have a guy” weekend warriors. The problem is a lot of the time things were built un-safe. If you don’t have a home inspector that knows what he is looking at, you could be buying something that really could be dangerous!
New Construction Homes
This I feel is one of the best-kept secrets. I think a lot of people feel that a brand new home is going to always carry a higher price tag. The fact is, it has to comp to the other homes in the market to sell. So your savings will be the lack of maintenance needed in the short-term.
Back when I was building homes people were always shocked when I told them I could build a home for the same price that they were thinking of buying at. The key to building a home is the cost of the land! The land cost is what drives the end cost of a brand new home.