If you’re ready to escape the cold, you’ve probably set your sights on buying in a warmer climate. Whether you’re relocating, buying a second home, or retiring, purchasing a home in a warmer area requires some special considerations. Here are 5 things to watch out for when buying in a warmer climate such as Los Angeles:
Check the Roof
A good roof is essential to proper indoor temperature and moisture control. If the home’s roof is poorly insulated, in disrepair, or otherwise not suited for the warmer climate, you may be looking at expensive problems down the line.
Your roof helps keep the warm air out and the cool air in, but also protects against any moisture that may accumulate due to differences in the indoor and outdoor air temperatures.
Without proper insulation, you may face high energy bills, moisture damage, and mold and mildew. All of these problems can be expensive to fix and can even put your health and the health of your family at risk.
Before purchasing a home, get a thorough roof inspection and correct anything problematic.
Look at the Windows
Much like your roof, your windows play a big role in energy efficiency and overall comfort when buying in a warmer climate such as Los Angeles.
Poorly insulated windows or windows that haven’t been well-kept can cause you to have high cooling bills. Moisture can collect on and around the window, which may cause warping of your walls, peeling paint, and mold growth.
When you get an inspection on a home you’re looking to purchase, be sure the inspector pays special attention to the condition and function of the windows.
Check the Ductwork
In many warmer climates, basements are uncommon, meaning many homes were built with air conditioning units and ductwork routing through crawlspaces or up into the attic.
While this seems like a great idea, these spaces aren’t often fully cooled like the rest of the home, meaning high temperatures cause the units to work harder and be more inefficient. Breakdowns become more frequent, and you’re more likely to need to replace the entire unit more often than you should.
Instead, check that all the ductwork is collected within the air-conditioned spaces of the home, whether that means that the condensing coils are located in the main area of the home or that the attic or crawlspace is cooled.
Good air flow is essential for getting the cooler air to the living spaces, helping keep your cooling bills lower.
Because of this, look for open floor plans when buying in a warmer climate. The larger spaces and lack of walls allows air to travel more freely and keeps your space cool with less hassle.
If you have your heart set on a more divided floor plan, be sure that there’s ample ventilation so air can flow between rooms without taxing your air conditioner.
Look for Light Colors
Dark colors absorb light and heat. If the home you choose has a dark-colored roof or siding, it’s more likely to be naturally hotter in the sunlight and, as a result, more expensive to cool.
When buying in a warmer climate such as Los Angeles, look for light blue, tan, or yellow siding and roofing whenever possible. This will help you maintain better energy-efficiency and decrease the amount you’re spending on cooling your home.
Not only will a lighter-colored home save you money on the actual energy it takes to run your air conditioner, but it also decreases the number of times you will need repairs and replacements, saving you money over the years.