Don't Set Yourself Up for Home Heartbreak!
Many of us have gone on the hunt for our dream home, but how do we know if the home we consider is ‘the one?’ Let’s compare finding the right home to finding a life partner; “when you know, you know.” Many potential buyers develop that ‘gut feeling’ which is what we often feel when on the hunt for love. However, do you want a home that looks dreamy but has underlying issues underneath those gorgeous hardwood floors? How do we know if the spark we feel about a home is not just an electrical issue? How can we tell the difference between getting chills from a house we love, or if there are just faulty windows? After doing some research, we have found that buying a home can be easier if you know the eight things to look for when searching!
You’ll need to check the flooring.
Remember what we had mentioned about those ‘gorgeous’ hardwood floors? This is where it may apply. If you notice that there have been some newly renovated floors, have a discussion with the owner on why they were replaced. Floors will always be an indicator if there are issues with plumbing. If you see unusual sagging or dipping around the bathrooms, you may come face-to-face with unusual plumbing underneath the floors. So, be sure to keep this in mind when walking through because this may be an issue you will have to fix in the future which can get expensive.
Are there any cracks in the walls?
If you see a crack in the wall, obviously it is not a good sign. Some wonder what cracks mean, but it depends on where they are located. A crack in a brick wall usually means that there is / has been movement. This type of crack signifies that there could be a serious problem with the structure of the house. When you see a small crack in the drywall, it is often not something to worry about. However, if you catch a larger crack with a slight discoloration, it could mean that there is an issue with the structure and/or possible leaks.
Is there fresh paint in random spots?
When you see that the past owner may have had wacky paint skills or changed colors often, do not worry! These are things that could easily be fixed pretty quickly! However, if you notice that there has been fresh paint slapped on or sheetrock in a cellar or basement ceiling, be wary! This likely indicates that the previous owners quickly fixed something, or tried to cover something up. If you notice if a home has not been renovated in a while or quickly renovated take note of it and ask questions! You would not want to purchase a home, then learn about some damage that will need to be immediately fixed!
Is there water in the basement?
When touring a home, be sure to look for water or dampness. If a couple of days of rain hits before you tour, and you see that the basement appears dry, that is wonderful news! However, if you see that it appears wet when it has rained or not, you are going to be in for a costly surprise! If it appears wet / damp, then there will have to be an investigation on where the water is coming from.
Do the windows work?
Windows are never a huge deal when it comes to your investigation, but it can be costly if you will have to replace all of the windows if they do not lock properly. Usually, people replace windows with cheaper, lower quality windows. Cheap and faulty windows can also drive up your heating costs if they are not checked or replaced.
When was the roof installed?
Be sure to ask questions when it comes to the roofing. Usually, older homes will have several layers of roofing, some of which could contain asbestos. With an older home, there is a high possibility that they will find an issue to be resolved. It can be hard to indicate if the roofing is faulty just by looking at it, so make sure to follow up with an expert opinion.
Are the trees too close?
Trees are usually overlooked when touring because it is assumed to not be a part of the inspection. When trees are located too close to the house, it can pose a threat of falling onto the home during storms. Depending on how big the tree is, roots could spread into the basement, bug infestations may pop up, or gutters could continuously be filled with leaves. A first-time homeowner should definitely take all of these items into consideration.
What does the electric / plumbing look like?
Now, issues including electric and plumbing can be hard to catch with the naked eye. Check out the electrical boxes, and take a mental picture on how it is sorted. Did it have electrical wires showing? Does it look like it was installed correctly? Make sure to ask if there recently have been shortages or power outages. Be wary if the electrical system has not been replaced in a few decades. For both electric and plumbing, it is good to bring an expert with you on the second walk through.
Like stated before, you do not want a home with underlying issues (no matter how beautiful it may be). Make sure to ask questions, follow up with an expert, and do not be afraid to do some of your own digging about the property! When finding the right home, we all want to feel that spark in our heart, but if we do not take these steps, a breakup could be in your future.