10 Essential Things To Look For When Viewing A Property
The process of buying a home, whether it’s your first or fourth, is a very exciting time! Just by viewing photos online, or having an initial walk-through, buyers tend to know if a house is “the one” for them since they have a list of basic requirements ready to go. But, there are a lot of smaller details that need attention when picking the right fit home. Keep reading our list below to learn more about 10 things to look for when viewing a property that will save you time and money in your house-hunting journey!
1. Pay Close Attention to the Flooring
Pay attention to flooring that is sagging or uneven. Sagging floors around the home can be a sign of foundational issues. Sagging floors near areas like the kitchen or bathroom can be a sign of plumbing issues. If the house is carpeted, try to check to see what’s underneath the carpet. Assessing whether the carpet was used to cover up damages will eliminate future headaches.
2. Test Out the Windows
Take the time to open and close each window, and make sure they lock properly. Windows are a part of the home that tend to be replaced with lower-quality pieces. It can also be helpful to check the window frame for rot, cracks, or condensation. Damaged window frames can lead to higher utility costs due to poor insulation.
3. Assess the Roof
While entering or exiting the property, make a point to access the roof and gutter system and ask the seller questions about its history. Ask how recently the property has gotten a new roof or if it has at all. If there are shingles that are curling or missing or gutters that are leaking, this could be a sign of a unmaintained roof.
4. Are There Multiple Houses For Sale on the Street?
When arriving at the property, take the time to access the area. Are there multiple houses in the neighborhood for sale? If so, ask the seller if they know why. Is there an issue with community changes? Is it a sign of economic challenges or changes? If you have the chance to, driving through the neighborhood at different times of the day and observing areas such as your street, the schools, and local community areas would be of benefit to you. Get to know an area before you commit to it.
5. Look for Water in the Basement or Foundation
If the home has a basement level, make sure to check for damp areas or puddles of water. Water at a home’s lowest level could be a sign of foundational cracks or damage. Finding the source of the leakage sooner rather than later will eliminate further damage.
6. Compare the Room Temperatures
While in the home, run the air conditioner as well as the heating units to make sure both work properly. Find out where the furnace is and listen for any strange noises, which could be signs of issues. If both units get a stamp of approval, walk around the house and make sure all rooms are around the same temperature. Unevenly distributed heat could be a sign of furnace damage and could cost you down the line.
7. Take a Closer Look at Recent Paint Jobs
If the whole house looks like it has been recently repainted, there shouldn’t be much to worry about, the sellers just wanted to spruce up the space before putting it on the market. But if the paint or wallpaper around the house looks older and you notice smaller areas of paint, or singled-out painted walls or ceiling patches, there could be some underlying issues. Paint is commonly used to cover up issues including things like termite damage. Don’t be afraid to ask the seller about the recent paint jobs.
8. Ask About the Home’s Aspect
The angle at that your home is built on the property and which way it’s facing can make a huge difference in your home’s lighting. There are pros and cons to both orientations, it just depends on what you prioritize. South-facing homes tend to get more sunlight during the day and are brighter, but this also ramps up the home’s temperature and with it, your air conditioning bill. North-facing homes get sunlight in the back of the home and tend to be cooler. It’s also important to notice where the windows are placed and how much natural light each room is susceptible to.
9. Pay Attention to Service Availability
This applies more to houses in rural areas, but when you’re viewing a potential home, pay attention to the level of cell phone service you have on the property. With the death of landline telephones, your cell phone is your only means of communication. Make sure you have enough signal or internet capabilities to suit your daily needs. You can also ask the seller what providers service the area in terms of in-home Internet services.
10. Ask Questions About the Home’s History
Don’t be afraid to ask the seller or seller’s agent questions about the home’s history. How long did the prior owner live in the home? Did they live there or was it purchased as a property to flip? Keep in mind that flipped properties have a higher potential for more internal issues. Also, take the time to ask about the home’s history of repairs and any warranties.