What to Look for When Viewing a Home
When buying a home it is easy to fall in love with a home's appearance, but it’s important to look deeper into the home before you decide to purchase. A careful inspection of the home during your viewing can help you eliminate the homes with too many defects.
First Impressions Count
The Outside of the House can tell you a lot. Look at the condition of the roof and external walls. External problems like cracks in the walls or foundation may not be covered by house insurance.
On the inside, if the owners don’t bother keeping the house clean and attractive, how well are they doing in fixing problems, like water leaks? Look for water stains or bulges on the walls or ceilings. This could mean there’s a water problem.
Do Things Work?
Kitchens and bathrooms are the most expensive rooms in the house to renovate so pay close attention to the details. Check the water pressure and drainage by turning on taps or flushing the toilet.
It’s also a good idea to make sure all major appliances that come with the home are in working order. Large items like dishwashers, fridges and stoves can be costly to replace.
Make sure the home you’re looking at is big enough to accommodate your things. Look at storage spaces like closets, basements and the garage.
Air leaks in a home can account for 30 to 40% of the home's overall heat and cooling loss. Check oors and windows to make sure there’s no draft coming into the home. Windows and doors should fit snugly and operate smoothly. An easy way to check for potential rotting in the windowsills is to press your finger into the wood. If it's soft, it is rotten.
Floors should be smooth, even, and solid. Soft springy sections, excessive squeaking, and unevenness are all indications that expensive repairs may be needed. If you intend on renovating, check to see if there are floorboards under old carpets and what their condition is.
Make sure that all the services you need, such as power, water, phone and gas are available and in working order.