Are you looking for a new home? Buying a home can be exciting and go by quickly. It can be easy to become distracted by an impeccably staged or beautifully decorated home during a showing. However,it is important to pay attention to the following area:
Location is king. If the home is not right for your situation then it’s not the right for your you. Make sure you visit the neighborhood at different times of the times of the day to make sure you see what the bus stop looks like, the afternoon and evening. Look at neighbors’ homes, nearby buildings and streets in search of things that would make living in your home less pleasant, including odors, traffic and noise. Also, do the neighbors take care of their yard? Is their porch or yard cluttered with junk?
Square footage and floor plan
Ideally, the home should have all the rooms you need, plus a layout that works for your family. You don’t want to get yourself into a position where the home is going to need alot of demolition and remodeling unless you’re prepared for it.
Roof and gutters
Make sure you find out when the roof was last replaced or originally installed. If it looks worn, it is a sign that you need to ask more questions, including the age of the roof. If the roof doesn’t meet certain standards, you may not be able to get a mortgage or homeowners insurance.
Signs of water damage
Keep an eye out for discolored or dark spots on the ceilings and walls or a musty or mildew smell. Water damage that has been repaired quickly is usually not a big deal, but a leak that went undetected for a long period of time could have caused significant damage or brought mold. It also could be a sign of damage that has not been repaired.
Keep an eye out for wiring that looks sloppy or corroded. Note if the wiring appears old and worn out as it probably needs to be replaced, and those expenses can add up. The electrical panel may be just the first sign of underlying wiring or electrical issues.
Boilers and AC units
Take a look at them and see if you see any rusting. Turn them on and listen for any funny sounds.
Cracks in exposed concrete, uneven flooring, doors that stick
Foundation issues can be very expensive to repair. Look for cracks in the concrete of the home in areas like the basement or garage floors, floors that feel uneven when you walk across them, or doors that stick when opening and closing. Cracks in ceilings and walls are probably not a big deal.
Evidence of rodents or termites
Sometimes, evidence of previous wood-destroying termites and rodents can be easily spotted. A house with termite damage also calls for an inspection by a structural engineer to “report on the integrity of the framing and whether any additional support members need to be added.” A house with rodents is cause for concern and will need to be cleanup up by a professional cleaning company. I
The bottom line…
Keep an eye out for everything. Ask questions. No home is perfect but don’t settle. Even an inspection on a newly constructed home will likely include some noted defects on the inspection report. However, an inspection can help bring attention to possible areas that should be addressed with the seller before you buy the home.
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