Are you in the market for a new home? You’re not alone.
Over 5 million people bought existing houses in 2017 and that number is just going up!
And with the median home cost over $250,000 you need to make sure that the home you’re buying doesn’t cost more in repairs and damage later on.
Before buying a house, make sure to check these 5 things!
1. The Foundation
Small, hairline cracks are common and just a sign that the house is settling. But if you see large cracks or gaps in the foundation it could be a sign of a much bigger and very expensive problem.
If you suspect foundation problems you can and should hire a structural engineer to come out and examine the house. They will be able to professionally evaluate if the foundation has a problem that could cost you down the road.
You can also perform some simple tests to see for yourself. Try placing a marble on the ground in several different rooms and see if it rolls in one particular direction.
You can also check the windows. If they stick or are difficult to open, it could be a sign that the foundation is moving.
2. Check the Roof Before Buying a House
Before you even walk in the door, take a look at the roof. These questions will help you get a better idea of the state of the roof at a glance:
- Does it look like it’s in good condition?
- Are there shingles or tiles missing?
- Do you notice any sagging in the middle or around the edges?
- Are the gutters attached and clean?
You can also ask to see the attic and examine the underside of the roof. You’d want to check for rotted wood, mold, signs of pests, etc.
3. Get to Know the Plumbing
Not only should you turn on every single faucet in the house, but you should be checking to see if each one has a functioning hot and cold temperature.
Taste the water from the kitchen sink.
Open all the cabinets beneath every sink and look at the condition of the pipes. Look for signs of leakage, mold, or warped wood. These could lead to costly repairs if not addressed immediately.
Mold can be sneaky and the existing homeowners might not even know it’s in the house. But there are a few ways you can spot signs of excess moisture and mold.
Poor ventilation can cause buildups of moisture which promote mold growth. If you notice condensation buildup on windows or bubbled paint around windows or doors, don’t ignore it. Those are the perfect conditions for mold to grow.
Check underneath sinks, under rugs, in utility closets, etc. for signs of past or current mold.
Some molds can be treated with household cleaners, but some are toxic and need professional assistance. Don’t ignore signs of mold.
5. Water Close By
That nearby lake, pond, or creek might add to the ambiance of the home, but could it cause flooding during wet seasons?
Check to see if your home insurance will allow you to add flood and water damage to your policy (some won’t).
And ask the current homeowner for insights on understanding water levels.
Common sense is your best friend. Don’t ignore anything that seems strange to you.
And you don’t have to do it alone. When buying a house, hire a professional to perform a home inspection. There’s only so much you can do. But a home inspector is trained to spot existing and potential problems.
And when you’re ready to buy a home of your own, contact us! We’ll help you find the perfect place.