When buying a house, you should know what to look for because it can save you a lot of expense, headache, and heartache down the road. There are, of course, the obvious red flags that most people know to heed, but there are plenty of other subtler signs that aren’t so well known. To help you out, then, we offer this checklist of what to look for in a house in .
First Steps to Take
When investigating a house in , there are some larger things to look at first and some important first steps. These include:
- Check out the roof. Is it new, or is it in bad repair? A roof is fairly expensive to replace, and a new roof on the house could lower your homeowner’s insurance premiums.
- Look beyond the surface. Ignore the shiny new appliances and attractive paint on the walls. Go deep and check out the framing and foundation.
- Is the HVAC system functioning well? If not it could drive up utility bills and is an expensive replacement.
- Examine the plumbing carefully – under the house, under the sinks, and everywhere. Is there any evidence of leaks and mold?
- Make sure a house in is well insulated. Otherwise, you’ll pay through the nose on monthly utility bills.
- Don’tstop at the structures – examine the land as well. Does water stand in the yard? Are the fences in the right place? Is there a danger of flooding?
You should also think about what would amount to a deal-breaker for you and keep that in mind as you make your examination of a house in. Ask yourself what your lifestyle requirements demand in a house, and look for those things.
Checklist of What to Look for in a House in
Now we come to the actual checklist you will use for a house in . It follows fairly closely the checklist that inspectors use, so as you make your examination, note anything you want the inspector to look at more closely.
EXTERIOR OF A HOUSE IN [MARKET_CITY]
ROOF AND ATTIC
- Missing shingles
- Need for a replacement roof
- Flashing where it should be
- Signs of leaks
- Visible cracks
- Sagging portions
- Tree roots too close
- Proper drainage
- Soggy areas
- Condition of walkways and driveways
INTERIOR OF A HOUSE IN [MARKET_CITY]
APPLIANCES (WHEN INCLUDED IN SALE)
- Well maintained
- Proper installation
- Leaks under sinks
- Evidence of previous fire
- Cracks in walls (either vertical or horizontal)
- Stains on ceilings, floors, or walls
SUB-SYSTEMS AND VENTILATION
- Any smells or odors and source
- The HVAC system in good working order
- The water heater of sufficient capacity
- Exhaust fan in kitchen
- Working switches
- Outlets properly grounded
- Functioning ceiling fans
- Electrical panel up to code
- Unusual noises (gurgling, dripping, and so on)
- Enough pressure at faucets and other fixtures
- Evidence of leaks
- Faucets, toilets, tubs, and showers shut off properly
Check for signs of wear and/or damage:
- Door opener
Talk to Your Agent
You also shouldn’t be surprised if you find problems and issues that need to be addressed. Almost every house has some defect or problem, but most of them will be fixable. It’s just that you need to be well prepared for what lies ahead. Then the next step after using our checklist of what to look for in a house in [marekt_city] is to hire a licensed inspector to give the house a thorough, professional going-over. You can find an inspector yourself or ask your agent for recommendations. And don’t forget to ask your agent what to look for in a house in – she knows.