A picture online can say a thousand words however seeing a home in person truly speaks volumes. Visiting a property is your first opportunity to “kick the tires.” While most homebuyers spend their time at an open house simply checking out the layout of the rooms and the name brands on the kitchen appliances, smart buyers know what’s really important to look for when buying a home. In most markets, you’ll often walk into an open house that has been deep-cleaned, upgraded, and staged with stylish furniture. That’s nice, but if you’re not careful, you may miss a multitude of problems. Don’t overlook these 4 critical areas:
1. The Neighborhood
You are not just buying a house; you are buying a neighborhood. Take a drive around the neighborhood to check out the parks and amenities, condition of other houses, and traffic in and out of the area.
Water can cause significant damage to a home. Look for water stains beneath sinks and on walls and ceilings. Water stains can mean a leaky pipe or if the stain is on the ceiling, it can mean the roof is leaking. If you notice a musty odor, it could mean there is water infiltration somewhere. Water leaks can lead to more severe problems like mold.
Most houses have hairline cracks, which simply indicate that the house is settling into position, but large gaps signal a bigger issue with the house foundation. Sticking doors or windows, visible cracks above window frames, and uneven floors are signs of foundation issues.
4. Deferred Maintenance
Home improvements can really add up. As you walk through a home, keep an eye out for urgent renovation needs like floors, fixtures, or large repainting projects. If you see paint fading or chipping, leaky faucets, or missing shingles on the roof; it could mean the homeowner has not kept up with maintenance of the home and will need attention soon.
For more information on what to look for when searching for your next home contact us and we can help you make the best choice in your home purchase.