Thinking of buying a home, congratulations! Buying a house is the most notable investment many people make in their lives, and so you must know what to look for when touring open houses.
A home inspector will check out the house for structural issues, safety hazards, and major appliances. A few other things might not be on the list, but you should look into them before signing your life away.
Tip 1: Discover if the owner had any flooding in the basement
If so, check if the walls and foundation have been repaired.
If you notice an accumulation of water near exterior doors or windows, be sure to check it out. Open up cupboards under sinks and inspect for mold or mildew stains on shelves and walls.
Ask about specific repairs that have been made to stop any future water damage.
Tip 2: Check for steep stairs before you buy
Everyone has seen those crazy family photos where it looks like mom, dad, and five kids are about to jump down the stairs like a circus act.
Well, if you have little ones in your family, you’ll want to make sure this never happens with the stairs in your new home.
Feel free to take a trip down a flight or two of stairs to see how it feels. You don’t want dangerous drop-offs without railings on both sides of the stairs.
Tip 3: Know what appliances come with the house before signing anything
Always make a note on the multiple listing service sheet or write down the make and model of major appliances when touring open houses.
Be sure to check out their condition as well as the age (for how long they’ve been in use).
If you’re buying a house with an older fridge, stove, and dishwasher, expect to pay more for repairs down the road.
If it’s too pricey for you, make sure to factor that into any budget negotiations, or you could be parting with hundreds of dollars every time something breaks down.
Tip 4: Always keep your eyes peeled for sinking foundation.
Does the house lean to one side? Does it seem like you’re constantly bumping into things in your new home?
If so, this could be a sign the foundation has shifted out of place.
Do not ignore slanted doors and windows as it could lead to major safety concerns for you and your family down the road.
Tip 5: Keep an eye out for signs of water damage in the basement.
Look for cracks in the foundation or walls that are caving in. Black mold or mildew is a common sign the house has had flooding issues in the past.
A tell-tale indication there may be mold growing is if you notice musty smells coming from closets, cupboards, and crawl spaces.
Besides looking out for these signs on your own, having a professional inspector is also vital. He will assess the main components like the HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems.
And, when choosing your inspector, make sure to verify their skills and whether they are licensed or not.
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