Buying a home can easily be described as a roller coaster ride full of ups and downs. You find a listing online that looks promising and schedule a tour with your agent, only to read the seller’s disclosure notice mentions that the roof is 25 years old. Your friend invites you over to see their house for sale but you see a huge crack in the foundation. Your mom sends you a listing she found online but in the property details, you see the home doesn’t have central air conditioning. Would any of these scenarios be a deal-breaker for you? What about your spouse? Carefully writing out not only your dream list of home features but your list of what you don’t want can help save you and your Realtor time.
So what are some of the most common—and expensive—deal breakers for homebuyers? Let’s take a look.
Central Air Conditioning
Depending on what part of the country you live in, having central air conditioning may be a must-have. Not only does it make life more comfortable, but a climate-controlled environment helps preserve your belongings. According to a 2020 survey by the real estate investment website Millionacres.com, 46% of respondents said that a house without central air conditioning would be a deal-breaker. The website also states that the average cost for central a/c is $5,500 plus any expenses for ductwork additions and/or modifications.
Needs a New Roof
As far as home-owning expenses go, replacing the roof is probably one of the most costly repairs. According to Forbes, the average cost to replace a roof is $8,000 however it depends on the square footage of the house. On average, a new roof will last 25 years therefore you should keep this in mind when looking at older homes. That said, should you receive a seller’s disclosure notice showing the age of the roof is in doubt, know that you’ll want to get it properly inspected should everything else suit your needs. Your home inspector should either be willing to climb up and walk the roof himself or use a drone to get eyes on the situation.
Aside from a costly roof repair, structural repairs can be one of the most expensive repairs a homeowner can make. In fact, the aforementioned survey by Millionacres.com states that structural repairs were the number one deal-breaker as 60% of respondents included it on their list of things that would cause them to walk away from a house. Repairs may or may not be costly, but most buyers say they aren't willing to take the risk.
Coming home to peace and quiet is a common expectation, so learning a house is located across the street from a busy road or highway would be a deal-breaker for most buyers. The same could be said for a house that is in the flight path of a nearby airport. Noise is not only an annoyance; it also poses a health danger. Airport noise may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease among neighboring individuals.
The danger was greatest in the population exposed to the highest amounts of noise, according to one study. Another study found that animals exposed to airplane noise had higher blood pressure, endothelial dysfunction, and other cardiovascular outcomes than those exposed to white noise.
A bad location could also mean pollution issues, unwanted traffic, and abnormal hours resulting in all kinds of disruptions. This is why it’s best to not only tour a home in person but visit the neighborhood at different times of the day as well as different days of the week.
While a seller’s disclosure notice may give you your first clue about whether or not you want to purchase a home, your home inspection, natural curiosity, and even meeting the neighbors can all go a long way in helping you make your decision. By knowing what your personal preferences are and informing your Realtor, you can save some time considering houses that don’t fit your criteria. So be sure and discuss with your family what your deal breakers are, stay vigilant in the information-gathering stage, and hire a reputable home inspector.