Going on house tours in search for your next home can be a lot of fun. After scanning the listing photos, you finally get to see the property in person. Chances are the new kitchen catches your eye, or the layout seems perfect. Very few people take the time to investigate a home thoroughly when they go to see it for the first time, when this happens to be the best opportunity to identify warning signs that could end up costing you a lot of money in the future. We have identified a few key things to keep an eye out for when looking for your next home.
Cracks in the Foundation: A walk around the outside of a home is just as important as the walk inside. Be sure to take note of any visible cracks or damage which could mean costly structural repairs in the future. Also look for run-off water from the yard that could lead to basement flooding.
Mold: Mold can be an easily managed issue, or it could mean big trouble and high cost. Basements and attics are more typical locations for mold, but if you see any on carpets, walls, or around cooling units, there could be major issues with interior walls and structural supports.
Roof Condition: A roof can last a long time, up to 30 years if it’s well taken care of. But if you notice on your home tour that the roof is sagging in spots, or the material its made of looks cheap, it could mean that you will be replacing it sooner than expected.
Faulty Electrical Work: During a home showing, realtors tend to turn a lot of lights on to make the home feel more welcoming. If you notice that they are off, go ahead and test out the switches. If the lights flicker or they don’t go on at all, chances are the home has faulty electrical wiring that will need to be replaced.
Windows: You probably wouldn’t think to inspect the windows when looking at a home, but it can save you a lot of money in the long run. Don’t be afraid to open them up and look for signs of water damage or corrosion. Replacing one or two windows isn’t that big of a deal, but a whole house will be a big investment.
Many of these issues you may not notice at first glance. Utilizing the first showing as an opportunity to “kick the tires” on your potential new home can save you major money down the road. Furthermore, while a home inspection is not mandatory, it’s invaluable, and can help identify any of these warning signs you might have missed.