Thursday, May 5, 2016 / by Ken Couture
There are standard things that every home buyer should look for to help ensure you find a home that is well built. Smart homebuyers look for how a home functions, and search for potential problems that may lead to costly repairs. Doing this before an offer is made can actually help narrow down the field of potential homes, saving you time and possibly even money. While an inspection is the best way to confirm any issues with a home, you can get a head start on the process with your own inspection. Keep the following in mind and be a savvy home buyer.
Watch for water damage. There are many signs of possible water damage in a home. When you know what to look for, you can avoid potential pitfalls. Remember to look along the ceilings. Water stains are signs of a possible leaky roof. Don’t be afraid to touch the walls too. Soft walls could mean water damage. While many sellers will paint their homes before selling, a fresh coat of paint may also be hiding problems. To be sure, ask if there has been any water damage in the past.
The foundation is another key place to look for signs of water damage. Take a walk around the outside of the house. If the ground close to the walls slopes towards them, there is a greater chance that water can accumulate along the foundation, which can cause problems over time. Take note of where the gutter drains lead to. If they don’t carry water 10 feet away or more from the house, there is a greater chance of water coming into a home. Check for cracks as well. Any that are thicker than a credit card should be examined by an inspector to rule out possible water seepage, or weakening of the foundation.
There are other ways to check how sound the foundation is. Check for how level the floors are with a marble. If the marble rolls away, there could be an issue. Open and close all the doors, cabinets and cupboards, and windows, repeatedly. If doors and windows stick when attempting to close them, or don’t latch well, this may be a sign of excessive settling within the foundation.
Use the camera on your phone. Take pictures of appliance serial numbers so you can look them up later. Knowing how old the appliances are will help you determine if they will need to be replaced in short order or not. You can also take footage of crawl spaces or storage areas that you can’t easily reach. View the videos on a larger screen to see if any potential problems stand out.
Whatever potential problem signs you may find, when you are ready to make an offer, you will have a better idea of things to discuss during the inspection so you can buy with greater peace of mind. As a Realtor, I am also experienced in looking for potential concerns, and can help you when viewing a home. If you have any questions, call me. When you are ready to invest, buy, or sell, visit my website or call me direct, Ken Couture, 702-610-6247.