House shopping is fun. Envisioning your furniture in the living room, seeing fancy backsplashes, countertops, and appliances.
While it’s more fun to picture spending time with loved ones on the deck or in the finished basement, it’s prudent to have an eye for the things that can save you time, money and headaches down the road.
Here are 7 common issues you should also be looking for in addition to your list of must-haves.
1) Water Damage
Scan walls and ceilings for tan colored patches, especially underneath sources of water like bathrooms and kitchens. This can indicate past or present water damage. Take a look around exposed piping around the water heater and laundry areas for rust or water stains.
2) Signs of General Neglect
Sometimes homeowners just let certain parts of their house go without maintenance, but oftentimes it’s a sign of a bigger problem.
If door handles are loose, lightbulbs are out, faucets leak, this can be a sign that other major areas like HVAC and plumbing haven’t been kept up on. This means the major systems of your potential home could fail quicker, leading to costly repairs.
3) Smells Too Good
A candle here or there is fine, but if a home is overly-scented, then it could be a sign there are some pet odors or smoke that they are covering up. Make sure to take note of each room’s smell and check for signs of mold, mildew or smoke.
4) Obvious DIY Jobs
Is the tiling just a little off? Carpet not pulled tightly? Messy caulking job around the windows? These are all signs that the previous homeowner might have done fixes on their own, and poorly. Look at the details of areas like backsplashes, tiling, paint, cabinets, etc for signs of poor installation.
5) Foundation Issues
Many houses will have hairline cracks. This is common as settling occurs in most older homes. Check for larger cracks, doors or windows that stick or noticeably uneven floors. On the exterior, one of the most common defects we see is downspouts ending right at the foundation base. This can be a cause of larger foundation issues.
6) Ventilation Problems
Check for cracking or bubbling paint or condensation near windows, doors or vents. Moisture in the walls or ceilings can lead to costly drywall repairs. Your inspector will check this, but bathroom vents can often terminate into the attic which is a big ventilation no-no.
7) Signs of Mold
Your home inspector will check for mold in areas you can’t check during showings (like in the attic), but you can open bathroom and sink cabinets and around pipes for signs of mold. If you see patches of black or grey, this could be a more serious mold issue. It’s worth noting that most instances of mold can be treated with household cleaning products.
The Bottom Line
Checking for these “not-so-fun” items can save you time and money by not going under contract on a home that you’ll later want to get out of. It can also set your expectations for the home inspection, where your inspector will point these issues out. Either way, it makes you a smarter home shopper and save you headaches.
North Ohio Property Inspection is a leading Medina home inspection company that specializes in homebuyer inspections and radon testing. We also service the Akron-Cleveland metro areas.
North Ohio Property Inspection
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