There’s a lot to think about when looking for a house. Together with your agent’s help, use these tips to stay on track:
- Are there several homes for sale on the same street? If so, this could mean a location issue or an economic challenge. You agent will be able to provide you with the most recent sales in the area.
- Find out how long the previous owner lived in the home. If they lived there for a long time, they may have more knowledge of the history of the home and the repairs that have been made. Review the Seller’s Property Disclosure, as it will disclose any repairs, additions, warranties, etc. The disclosure will also state which items will remain with the home at no cost to the buyer.
- Check out the plumbing. Do you notice any unusual sagging or dipping? Check the floor around the toilet to make sure it does not feel soft. Give the toilet a shake to make sure it does not move.
- Like plumbing, electrical is difficult to inspect with the naked eye. Look in the electrical box to see if there are exposed wires.
- Look for unusual cover ups around the home. Ask the homeowner what work was done if you notice anything peculiar.
- Find out when the roof was installed. Is there a warranty that comes with the roof? The life of a roof varies based on the composition. Slate, copper, and tile roofs can last more than 50 years, wood shake roofs last around 30 years, fiber cement shingles last about 25 years, and asphalt shingle/composition roofs last 20 years. If you are worried about the roof, you can have a licensed roofer inspect the roof during the due diligence period.
- When exploring the basement or crawlspace, check for water. If it has been rainy and the basement is dry, good news. If the space is damp, look for the source.
- Trees can be overlooked during the inspection. See if there are any trees hanging over the home or leaning towards the home. If there are trees causing question or concern, have an arborist inspect the yard during the due diligence period.
- Check the major appliances for rust. If the furnace, air conditioner or water heater show signs of rust, they may not be well maintained. On average, an HVAC will last 15-25 years if it is well maintained.
- Is there soft wood around the window sills? This may be a sign of wood rot.
Looking for a home is a big decision with unknowns along the way. The Peters Company helped over 300 families with their real estate needs in 2018, and we would love to assist and share our expertise with you!
- Written by Claire Conarro