Buying a home is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. It can be stressful and time-consuming, especially when you are looking at a house that was previously occupied by other people. To help you, here are some things that homeowners must look out for when buying a home.
1. Check for leaks in the roof, ceilings, and walls.
No, do not just look for them. Walk on the roof and feel the walls with your hands to check if there are any leaks or holes. If possible, ask neighbors about any past problems that they have seen at the house. These damages can cost you a lot of money to fix, so it’s best if you know now instead of later.
2. Inspect the electrical wiring.
Inspect the ground wire and look for any exposed or frayed wires that may start a fire in your home. Also, look for rusty connections or other damages that can cause a power outage later on. You can hire an electrician to help you with this task if you cannot do it yourself.
3. Check the plumbing system.
Do not assume that because the previous owners kept their home in good condition, they also maintained and fixed any problems with the plumbing system. For example, you might see a nice-looking sink in the kitchen but if there is no water supply to it, then it’s just a waste of space. There are some parts of the system that you cannot see without tearing apart walls and floors, but if possible, hire a plumber to inspect it for you.
4. Test the water pressure and drainage system.
The previous owners may claim that the house has good pressure but if you are at a higher elevation, then it might not be true. If there is no drainage system installed in your home, then the neighborhood’s downspouts may clog up with ice during winter. The water can seep into your basement and cause cracks on the foundation of your house.
5. Check for toxic gases.
If you are buying an older house, make sure to check if the radon mitigation system is working properly. You can also ask for a radon test for your home or do it yourself with radon test kits. Other toxic gases that you might encounter are carbon monoxide, methane, and hydrogen sulfide. Some gases can be deadly in a matter of minutes at high levels so have these inspections checked off your list as early as possible.
6. Look for evidence of termite or pest infestation.
The previous owners might have already fixed the problem, but better safe than sorry. Call your local pest control service for a free inspection. If they find any signs of termite or pest damage, ask them to do treatments right away before you move in. When the home already obtained damage, the cost to repair it will be much higher so take that into account before your purchase.
7. Check the foundation and other structural features of the home.
This is best left to experts such as engineers or contractors. They can point out any problems and tell you if the house is safe for habitation. But of course, you must ensure that these people are trustworthy. Hiring the wrong person can be worse than not hiring anyone at all, so make sure to do your research before choosing who to hire.
8. Look for watermarks on walls and ceilings.
Water leakage is actually one of the main causes of mold growth in homes. If there is a water leak in the house, mold spores will settle on surfaces and might trigger allergic reactions and respiratory illnesses. Pay extra attention to places such as bathrooms, kitchens, and garages where there is a higher risk of having leakage problems.
9. Make sure all windows and doors are properly sealed and insulated.
One of the most common causes of energy loss in homes is air leakage. If you buy an older home, it is very likely that there are cracks and openings on windows and doors where heat gets out during winter or cold air escapes during summer. You can hire a contractor to do renovations for your house but if this is not something you want to do immediately, then at least make sure that you cover all the cracks with insulation materials to save energy.
These are some simple but important things you must look out for when buying a home. It might be overwhelming to know what needs to be fixed but that’s why professionals are there for you. As long as you have a clear checklist on what to look for, the process shouldn’t be too difficult. If possible, hire a professional inspector who can do a complete check of your house for you and give recommendations as to how quick or extensive the repairs should be.