March 10, 2017

Buying a home can be one of the biggest financial and lifestyle risks of your life. You are not only digging into your pockets, but you are investing in a place you will call home. As the most popular time of year for new home purchases approaches, know the warning signs before you make such an impactful decision.

Check Structures

There are a variety of structures and hardware to check in the house buying a home.

Plumbing

Make sure to check the plumbing throughout the house thoroughly. This includes the pipes, water heater, water valve, waste system and faucets. The more information you can gather about the house’s plumbing, the less of a chance you will pay for it later.

Walls

Check all walls in the house. This includes the basement, attic, bedrooms, bathrooms and all other rooms in the house. Investigate for water damage, cracks, blemishes and anything that needs (or would have) to be fixed. Do not be fooled by a paint job. Another component of this is windows. Open and close all windows to see if any stick or won’t open at all.

Roof

To the best of your ability, do a full inspection of the roof. Look for leaks, holes, cheap material, gutters and other drawbacks. This has a direct impact on future costs as well as insurance.

Think Prospectively

The most important mindset you need to have when searching for a home, is to look ahead. Look at the features of the house and picture yourself living there. Examine the logistics of space and storage, both the inside and the outside.

Space

This includes space in the house like bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms and closets as well as outside the house like the yard, garage and driveway. Make sure that you don’t figure out that the house has too much or too little space in certain areas after you closed on the home.

Storage

This also includes inside and outside the house. Cabinets, drawers, attics, basements, sheds, barns are all examples of areas that you should include in your checklist. Storage is so important to people with families and it needs to be an area of focus when making your decision.

Use Your Senses

As you’re making decisions about your possible new home, be observant. Use your senses to detect anything that is out of the ordinary and make sure to be diligent.

Smell

Throughout the house, there are certain warning signs that can be realized by certain smells. One of these is a fresh paint job. While new paint is a good thing by itself, that could also mean it is covering something up. Another smell to be aware of is mildew. This is more likely in bathrooms and basements, and something that needs to be addressed as soon as possible before it leads to a mold problem. Sewage problems can also result in a stench that should not be ignored. This could indicate a pipe or drain problem.

Touch

Touch everything that you can (within reason). The more that you can get your hands on, the more information you are going to gather. A good rule of thumb is to perform as many daily activities as possible that you would if you lived in that home. This will help you build a portfolio of what may need a second look before going further with the house. This also limits the surprise costs after you closed the deal.

Sight

In summation of all your senses, know what you’re looking at. If you see something out of place, or something that does not look right, do further research. Get to all parts of the house, in every crack and crevice and examine as much as you can. Use a flashlight, ladder or whatever you need to get a quality look at as much as possible.

Examine the Land

If you are buying a house in conjoined with land, then that means you have more work to do. Get outside and comb through the surrounding area to make sure it is going to be the right as well as spot potential problems.

Neighborhood

If your prospective home is located in a residential neighborhood, be sure to get to know the area. Look around, talk to the people and get a general feel of what the community is like. Make sure it’s a good fit for you and your family before putting down your roots there.

Yard

Check the yard for holes, pest problems, buried animals, vegetation issues, downward slope (could cause water damage) towards the house and every part of the land. This is the area that you, your kids and your pets are going to play, hang out and exercise. Make sure that there are no safety hazards to you or your house and make sure to look for problems with the septic system.

Get Help From a Professional

Make sure to get the help of a professional when examining a potential new house. This is especially true when dealing with parts of the house that you are not highly knowledgeable about. For example, hiring a plumbing or electrical expert may help in identifying future problems. It will also help with not getting tricked by staging. The other party involved may have the help of a staging expert, which can be geared towards hiding negative aspects of the house.

Make sure to make a list of things that need to be fixed while examining the house. After your list is completed, work hard to communicate that each needs to be fixed before closing. It is vital to address all problems before moving forward so that there are no costs that could have been avoided. After the deal is done, you will have limited options, so have a plan in place beforehand and a list of deal breakers.

Call Eastern Plumbing before your home search. We’d be happy to guide you through your review of a possible future home.

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