Purchasing a new home is one of the most major decisions a person can make. A lot of times, it’s hard for people to know what to look out for in home buying, especially first time home buyers. If you find yourself asking the question “What should I look for when purchasing a new home?” then look no further, as this article shines a light onto that very topic.
Check out the Roof
A pretty easy item to inspect before even setting foot into the property is the roof. As a shelter from the elements, the roof is practically one of the most important parts of your home. Check for balding areas or if the shingles are damaged or curling. Definitely avoid homes with roofs that have dips, holes or are caving in.
A roof is a pretty costly repair and a home with an old, damaged roof might be hiding other secrets too. Getting a home with a newer roof is much safer and if it’s well designed, can potentially save you money on insurance bills too.
When touring a home, take a moment to carefully inspect the work on the tiles in the kitchen and bathroom areas. Do they look professional, or gappy and uneven? If it’s the later, it might mean the house has been subject to a DIY flipping. Flippers can sometimes make old, dubious homes seem pristine and brand-new, while hiding old materials and wear underneath the surface. If you suspect the home’s been flipped, it might be worth looking somewhere else.
Ignore the Paint and Decor
Freshly painted rooms and tastefully chosen decor can do a lot to wow you as a buyer. It’s commonly thought to be one of the best ways to sell a home. Don’t get distracted by the fancy cosmetics though, these are things that are simple present for any home. What you really want to look out for are things like the wiring, how sound the walls are, or how old the appliances are.
Pay Attention to the Foundation
A home with a questionable foundation could be the tiniest tremor from a pile of rubble. Look out for large gaps, cracks above the window frames, and sticking doors or windows. Uneven floors are another major tip-off, which can be easily detected by rolling a small round object like a ball or a marble.
Check Underneath the Sink
Underneath the kitchen and bathroom sink can be a telling area to inspect in a home, so go ahead and have a look there while touring the home. Leaks, water damage and mold are all some important warning signs you shouldn’t ignore. Mold can pose a serious health risk, and the potential for water damage can cost you a lot in the long run.
Another problem that mold can be a sign of is inadequate ventilation. Poor ventilation can cause excess moisture to become trapped in the home’s interior, which leads to mold and moisture getting trapped in the drywall. A sure sign of this could also be indicated by bubbling, peeling paint around doors and windows, as well as condensation on windows.
Check out the Surrounding Land
There’s a lot to look out for on the outside of a property too. Make sure that if the property has a creek running through it that it’s not prone to flooding. Understanding if the land is properly irrigated is hugely important in avoiding flood damage which can be devastating. Similarly, in dryer climates one should investigate to make sure the area doesn’t have a history of wildfires.
Look Out for Water Damage
Water damage can sometimes be carefully hidden inside a home, but a weary buyer can always look out for a few signs of what sellers don’t want you to know. Water stains are an obvious sign of a burst pipe or leak in the past, but new paint will usually conceal this. A musty odor is sometimes an indicator of water damage. As well, you can inspect the pipes in the basement and laundry room for more indicators. Rust, water stains or leaking here will tell you pretty much everything you need to know.
See if There’s Enough Insulation
You’d be in for a rotten surprise if you bought a home you thought was perfect, only to get an insane heating or cooling bill once you’re in the more temperate months of the year. Popping inside the attic can be one of the best areas to check for proper insulation, but do also have a good look at the water pipes and heating ducts.
Get a Home Inspector
If the home passes your amateur inspection and provides what you seek in a property, it’s time you call in a professional. As an average home buyer, there’s only so much you can see for yourself, but a Home Inspector can give you the real story on if the property is worth committing your life to. Naturally, this costs money, so only hire a home inspector if the home doesn’t have any of the other more obvious flaws named above.