You’ve hunted the internet for listings and have finally chipped away your list of 274 potentials into 10 maybes, congratulations! (no easy task!) You’ve spoken to your agent, set up some showings, and are obsessing over the sq. ft., number of bedrooms, that awesome island in the kitchen. Then it dawns on you.. what else should you be looking for? Those TV shows always make it look so easy, but this is the real world. You know if you miss something or don’t do your homework, it’s your ass on the line. Follow this guide to make sure you don’t get hosed.
OPEN EVERYTHING! (and close everything too) – Doors, windows, cabinets, weird little storage areas hidden under stairs, attics, EVERYTHING YOU CAN! Always be respectful of personal possessions, but you want to gather as much information as possible in the showing. If you notice that drawers don’t slide easily or the track on the sliding door is broken, these should be accounted for in making an offer.
Plumbing and Electrical– Issues with either of these systems and be costly and devastating. Turning on faucets, showers, and flushing toilets will help indicate the health of the system. Also check any exposed pipes in the basement to determine the integrity of the copper. Look at the traps under the sinks to check for corrosion and leaks, and also any drain pipes in the basement that are visible.
The electrical is a little more tricky to determine with a visual inspection. The first thing you might notice is if outlets don’t have spaces for 3 prongs. This means the outlet is not grounded, and may not work with some modern plugs unless you have an adapter. You can also visually inspect the integrity of the electrical panel in the basement (rust, corrosion, etc) and how all of the wires run into it. If it looks like a rats nest or the wires appear to be deteriorating, that may be a sign of problems.
Keep an eye on the cracks– Cracks around doors and windows can be an indicator of a settling foundation. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it happens over time, but left unchecked it can grow into a major headache. Cracks in the foundation are also a big red flag. They can be caused by age, water penetration, improper grading or drainage on the outside, etc.
Furnace, Hot Water Heater, and Roof– It seems odd to group these three, but they all depend on age. Each has a certain life expectancy before their usefulness and efficiency decline, so make sure to ask the agent for the ages of each. Usually this information is provided in the MLS service we use, but if not, check the service tags on the mechanical equipment. The roof will be more of a visual inspection. If you notice shingles that have lifted, warping, discoloration, moss or other greenery growing out of the roof, holes, you see where I’m going here..
Drive around the neighborhood– Most people don’t even think to check out that neighborhood in addition to the house. DON’T BE SHORTSIGHTED! You can change pretty much anything about a house, except for the location. Even though you spend the majority of the home life in your home, it’s important to enjoy the area you live in. Remember, you aren’t just buying the home but the neighborhood it’s in as well. Now that you have read through this list, put these tools in your tool box. Keep in mind, I always recommend going into a deal with a property inspection to ensure that a professional check out the home for you. You may think you have the ability to do your own inspection, but professionals are much better. That’s what they get paid to do.
Author:David Pagano Phone: 585-233-8975 Dated: January 29th 2016 Views: 210 About David: ...
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