Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your life. After all, it is the place you will stay in for years to come. Plus, a house is probably the most expensive thing you will ever buy. And while no home will ever be perfect, you at least want your property to be decent enough to suit your needs and preferences.
You do not want to go through the process of finding listings on your real estate app, getting a mortgage approved, closing a deal, and signing mountains of paperwork, only to find that the house has deal-breaking problems that you did not see when you had your viewing.
Avoid buyer’s remorse after moving into your new home by being thorough when inspecting your property prospects. You should be able to see through the facade that sellers put up to pull you away from possible issues.
Put down your house hunting checklist, and pay attention to these problems you may encounter.
Water and moisture are the biggest enemies of a home’s structural components. Too much water can cause concrete to slowly break down. Moisture can cause wood to rot or grow fungus. These small problems can cause your home structure to become unstable and unsafe for you and your family to live in. It also encourages mold, which may be dangerous when inhaled by people who are allergic to it.
The telltale signs of water damage stay long after that part of the home got soaked in water, especially if the seller did not do anything to remediate it.
Spot The Following Issues:
- Cracks on the foundation – A cracked foundation creates a variety of problems for your home. It can create air leaks that can drive up your energy bills. It can also let water from rain or even the sprinklers into the home and create leaks in your basement or cause your subfloor to deteriorate and warp.
- Water stains – These appear as brown, ring-like stains on the ceiling or walls of the home. They indicate that there has been a leak, either caused by a faulty plumbing system or holes on the roof. The water ends up evaporating eventually, but it leaves discolored and dried mineral deposits on the surface.
- Warped floors – Water can cause materials like wood and even plastic, to rot and warp over time. These often happen near the surfaces you see water stains on. They could also appear in parts of the home where water is used a lot, like the kitchen, bathroom, or basement.
A bad odor is enough of a warning sign to move on to your next listing. Be cautious as soon as you smell air freshener when you enter the home for viewing. Keep your senses sharp for musty odor, which may be a sign of mold or moisture issues in the home.
If there is the familiar “wet dog” smell and the owners do not even have a pet, there is a good chance that rats, or other rodents have been inside the house. Do the bathrooms have a faint sewage smell? The plumbing system might be clogged, and sewer gases are escaping to the surface.
In any case, ask the owner what those smells are and what problems could have caused them. Confronting the seller now is easier than dealing with those issues yourself when you have finally bought the house.
Shoddy DIY Work
Ask the owner if they have done any improvements or added new features to the home. If they have, request for the permits they acquired for the work to be done. If the job does not require permits, ask which contractors or builders helped them get it done. If they did the work themselves and the seller does not seem to have any building or technical background, be wary.
Inspect the improvements to see if they are done well. You will often see problems like cracks, uneven installation, and jerry-rigged parts. Apart from being a headache to remediate, these improvements may also create safety concerns for you in the long run. Stay away from homes that have these shoddy DIY work.
Damaged or Outdated Electrical System
A damaged electrical system is a major safety concern. Check the outlets for any burn marks. Ask the owner to turn on every light in every room to see if there is any flickering. If possible, ask to see the wiring. If they still use knob and tube, the wiring may be inadequate to handle today’s electrical loads safely and efficiently. Old wiring is also expensive to update.
Buying a home is one of the most significant investments you will ever make in your life. It determines where you will live for years to come and costs a large portion of your savings. So, it needs to be as perfect as possible. These recommendations help you find deal-breaking problems before they blindside you.