You’re pre-approved and now ready to start looking for your new home. Of course, informed buyers always budget the cost of a full mechanical and termite home inspection once under contract. However, there are some items you should keep in mind when viewing homes, that may help spot potential issues before an offer is on the table. Below are some things to be mindful of while you’re viewing a home:
Foundation: Are there any cracks around the base of the wall or near the ceiling? Do the doors open, shut, and latch properly? Also, while walking the outside perimeter of the home, look for any cracks as well. While, cracks aren’t always something to be concerned about, they can sometimes indicate a possible foundation issue.
Roof: What is the condition of the roof? Do you know when it was last replaced? Take note if you see any shingles loose or missing.
Attic: Take a quick peek in the attic to see if you can see any evidence of leaks. You can also get an idea of how well the home is insulated from this view.
Ceiling Damage: Do you see any evidence of water damage on the ceiling?
Plumbing: Turn on faucets and flush toilets to see that things are in working order. Extremely low pressure or a slow drain could be a sign of needed maintenance.
Heating and Air Conditioning: How old are both the indoor and outdoor units? If it’s a hot or cool day, pay attention to how much the unit seems to be running to keep the home’s temperature steady.
Appliances: Do they come with the home? If so, do they seem to be updated or in working order?
Outside: Are there any areas that seem particularly moist? Is the house higher than the yard?
Again, checking for these common issues yourself is not a replacement for a professional home inspection. But paying attention to these areas can help you have a better idea of how much work may need to be done to the home, or any questions you may want to specifically address with the inspector.
If you fall in love with a home, don’t let these items alone deter you from making an offer. Once a professional inspection is complete, you’ll have more information as to the extent of the potential problem and can further negotiate with the sellers of the home if necessary.