You are finally ready to buy your first home. You’ve found a great realtor, you’ve been pre-approved for your mortgage loan, and you seem to have already found the perfect neighborhood. Now, it is time to put aside the attraction you feel towards the home and bring a critical eye to bear. When you are ready to put down an offer, you must hire a home inspector, and they can help you determine if the home is in good shape.
But by knowing what to look for during your initial walkthrough, you can determine if the house is worth the expense and time investment of hiring a home inspector. It is better to be certain than to receive a negative report from the home inspector and start the whole house hunting process again. Depending on how long you’ve already spent by that point, you may be too tired to start again and convince yourself to take on the house with all its issues.
This is a mistake, as your perfect house is out there. Your home will welcome you, and it will not require so much work that you end up resenting how much of a money drain it becomes. Hold out hope and go in prepared so you know if the house you visit has what it takes to become your perfect home.
Note First Impressions
The first look you get at the house as you drive up to the curb is critical. Curb appeal is not just a fancy term for a good-looking house; it can be a good indicator of the state of the house.
If a new-build house already looks old instead of pleasantly weathered, it may be a sign that the building materials used were not of good quality. In this way, if an older house looks attractive and tough, it is a good indicator that it is well-built and weatherproof.
This might seem silly, but it is a good idea to take binoculars for your house visit. Use them while still outside to scan the roof and gutters. Missing roof tiles, repairs thatare mismatched or look rushed, and cracked or curling shingles are a bad sign.
The roof can be in worse shape on the inside and may have rotting issues and, at the very least, might have bad leaks that can lead to worse issues later on.
Uneven gutters or gutter pipes pulled away from the house canbe another area with bad leaks. This can indicate that rain is not being directed away from the house and can weaken foundations or damp walls. Mold is a problem that does not go away and can make your house uninhabitable for several months. It can damage clothing, electronics, and, worst of all, your health.
Shine Your Torch in Every Corner
Not only should you take a torch with you, but you should use it liberally. Shine it into every darkened corner, behind large appliances, and onto the ceiling. An unscrupulous seller may hide issues with clever use of lights and shadows, but having a torch will reveal every secret the house has to hide.
Pay extra attention to the ceilings, especially if you noticed missing shingles on the roof. Basement corners and walls should be checked for damp and mold. Storerooms, pantries, and the edges around toilets, sinks, and showers should be checked in every bathroom. Be extra vigilant if the sellers seem to be uncomfortable with your torch usage in certain rooms. Sometimes, people are desperate to sell a home and may prevaricate about certain issues to make the house seem desirable. If you need to make quick changes calgarymortgages.ca could help.
Use a Marble
If you are looking to buy a house on a hill or uneven ground, you may want to take a marble with you on the inspection. Use it in every room to find out if the floors are even. Many common household accidents involving furniture can happen if the floors are uneven or slanted. Using the marble can indicate if the house has settled unevenly.
Uneven floors can even indicate foundation damage, and that can be expensive to fix. While one room with a low spot or a slant can be fixed, it is best to exclude houses with several uneven floors from your list.
There is no such thing as too much caution when contemplating a purchase of this size. A house is an investment you make in your future. So, if you are not ready to take the measures necessary to buy a suitable home, you may want to take a few months to think about it till you are ready. This is not a decision that should be taken lightly.
If you feel that you are prepared to do whatever it takes, but you want to be polite to the sellers, tell your real estate agent about the tests you want to do in the house. They will relay this to the sellers, and most likely, the sellers will agree to any tests you have in mind. A seller that objects is most likely not being honest about the state of their house, and you would want to avoid them.
Your dream home is relying on you to find it, even if it means buying an outlet tester or sniffing every corner for a funky smell. Research what you can do, and be prepared to look till you locate the exact right home for you.