It’s easy to fall in love with a home’s appearance, and while the number of rooms, conditions of the kitchen and size of the bedrooms and yard are all important, there are a few things to look out for before you make an offer:
- First Impression: Is the home dirty or cluttered? Lawns mowed? Walls chipped and need painting? If the owner hasn’t bothered to keep the house looking clean and attractive, what problems could be lurking below the surface?
- Kitchens & Bathrooms: Pay close attention to the age of cabinets, taps, and function of plumbing fixtures.
- Doors & Windows: Check that windows and doors fit snuggly and operate smoothly. Check for drafts, loose caulking and chipped paint
- Floors: soft springy sections, squeakyness or unevenness are indications that repairs might be needed
- Basement: Does the basement smell musty? Look for cracks in the walls and floors and signs of water leakage
Water leaks: If you spot stains, bulges and other signs of water damage on ceilings or walls, make a special note that there could be a problem.
Appliances and fixtures: Test all appliances and fixtures that will be included with the home to make sure they are in good working order.
Electricity: Make sure the power to the home is adequate for your needs and all switches, sockets and wiring are in good condition.
Exterior: Look at the condition of the roof and external walls. Are there any shingles/tiles missing or deep cracks in the walls or foundation?
It can be very hard for you to memorize all of good and bad things you saw in each house. So my advice is – take a pen so you can write down your impressions and thoughts, so you can review everything later at your home. I would strongly suggest you view the home a second time before making your final decision.