Does The Roof Need Repaired?
Before you ever set foot inside, check out what’s happening on top. Does the roof look relatively new or are the shingles or tile cracking or loose? If the roof is questionable, it could cost you thousands.
A newer roof, on the other hand, could mean a lower homeowners insurance rate. Likewise, a roof made of an especially sturdy material is better equipped to defend against wind and hail (and can save you from a potential claim).
Don’t judge a room by its paint job
When you step inside your prospective home, inspect the structural stuff like aging appliances, loose wires. The foundation will be there long after the paint has started chipping and you want that to be what lasts.
Check the heating & air conditioning unit
When you’re buying a house, keep in mind: if it looks rickety or old, it probably is. Heating and cooling systems are expensive to fix and replace, and inefficient ones can eat away at your utility bills. Make sure the furnace is up to date and in good repair.
Plan ahead for your needs
Aside from the basics, like quality windows and counter tops, think about the purpose of your home and the requirements for your lifestyle, like storage for a large book collection or a big backyard for barbecuing.
It can also be smart to buy a home with an extra bedroom if kids are in your future or you plan on having guests.
How’s the plumbing?
When you’re poking around a new kitchen, get underneath the sink and examine those pipes. Check for leaks, water damage, and mold.
Not only is mold unsightly and foul-smelling, but it can also cause health problems. If you live with a baby, an elderly person, or someone with asthma, you’ll want to be especially careful before moving in with mold.
Check out the area around the property
Don’t just look at the house, examine the area around it. Is the house in an area prone to flooding or wildfires? Is the driveway shared with another property? If there are fences, have they been built and positioned properly? It’s a lot to take in, but when you buy a house, you can’t ignore its surroundings.
Do you smell unusual odors?
Do you smell sewage, gas, or anything equally unpleasant? Sewage systems in older homes can sometimes get clogged or damaged by tree roots. Luckily, some sewer or plumbing companies can send a camera through the pipes to detect any breaks or blockages.
Also worth considering are pet odors, cigarettes, and mildew.
What about the insulation and above?
Above all else, your home should be comfortable. Check the attic, water pipes, and heating ducts to make sure they’re properly insulated. This can reduce heating and cooling costs and keep you comfortable in summer and winter. Double-paned windows can also save you money down the road. Plus, they can help soundproof your place from outside noise.
Check everything for functionality
Turn on every faucet and light switch, open every window and door, flush the toilets, even taste the water. Buying a house is a big step and probably one of the biggest decision you will make, and you need to know how everything works firsthand. This way, you can address problem areas and see if there’s a cost-effective solution.
Last but not least, have a Home Inspection completed
There’s only so much you can do with your own 5 senses. You’ll also want to enlist a professional to ensure the foundation is solid and the wiring is up to code. Home inspectors can even check for lead paint and wood-eating pests which is something that only a trained professional can detect.
The National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents suggests that almost every house has something wrong with it. Some will be obvious to you, and the vast majority will be fixable, but it’s best to know before you buy. Not only can it help you negotiate a lower price, but it can also prepare you for any necessary repair costs that may arise.