HOME INSPECTION TIPS: 5 THINGS TO CHECK FOR WHEN BUYING A HOME
When it comes to buying a home, it pays to be cautious. Although they are not always required, a home inspection is much too important to forego as it’s essentially a safety net to protect you and help you know if you’re making the right investment and paying a fair price for the condition of the home. Find a licensed, reputable home inspector who will want you to be present at the inspection. There is no comparison between seeing potential issues firsthand and just reading about them in a report.
While a home inspector will be able to give you the fullest picture of the state of a home, as you wait for the scheduled inspection, there’s no reason you can’t do a pre-inspection yourself to identify potential problems.
- Visually inspect walls and ceilings. Begin by looking for discoloration on the ceiling and walls—yellow spots indicate water damage. Large areas of discoloration on the ceiling could mean a leaky roof, and smaller water spots are most likely the result of leaking pipes. Even small water spots can represent significant hidden damage. Check the bathrooms, basement, and crawl space for signs of mold on the walls and a musty smell. If there is a musty smell, give us a call. We can encapsulate crawl spaces to make the home much more livable. Mold in bathrooms can be treated and the answer could just be better ventilation. However, mold in a basement could be a harder issue to fix because it means moisture is coming through the cement walls.
- Check the windows. See how easily the windows open and check for a draft next to the glass. Windows that stick or feel drafty most likely indicate it’s time for a replacement. Also, look for fogged windows or excess condensation on the inside of the glass. These moisture issues most likely mean broken window seals and an expensive replacement.
- Assess the plumbing. Check for issues with the house’s water pressure by turning on the water in a bathroom sink or the shower and then flushing a toilet. Look for a noticeable drop in water pressure and listen for gurgling noises in the pipes.
- Check the electrical outlets and switches. Buy a receptacle tester for $5 at a home improvement store and use it to check a few electrical outlets to make sure they’ve been properly wired. Brand-new outlets could mean that a room was recently wired. However, check for reverse polarity which suggests that the work was a homeowner’s DIY project, rather than the work of a professional.
- Examine the exterior. Look for standing puddles and observe if the landscape is graded away from the house. If precipitation isn’t properly allowed to drain away from the structure of the house, water damage could become an issue at some point. Look at the roof and see if you notice any warped, curled, or cracked tiles, which indicates it’s time for the roof to be replaced. Walk around the home and watch for siding cracks, rot, or decay due to moisture.
While no house will ever be perfect or completely free of issues, it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into and what to expect in terms of maintenance and repairs.
If you need water damage expertise, give us a call. We’re always happy to help.
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