Before you buy a home, you’ll want to find out as much information about the property as you can. You'll want to make sure the property has been well maintained so that you can avoid hidden problems and expenses down the road. To find out how well the home has been maintained, check out the following at the open house or your 1st showing appointment.
- Fire safety: There are working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Roofing: Find out what the roof is (wood, asphalt, tar and gravel, clay, steel, etc.). The type of material used can mean a lot in the life of a roof. A 10 year old steel roof has about 40 years of life left; where an asphalt roof may be halfway through its life.
- Windows: The windows are well sealed, and preferably double paned.
- Foundation: There are no cracks in the exterior foundation.
- Wiring and plumbing: Is the home knob and tube aluminum wiring? This type of wiring can be expensive to replace, and some insurance companies won’t insure a home that has it. Make sure plumbing is not leaking and that water pressure is adequate.
- Exterior: The yard is in good condition. There’s no rotten wood siding, decaying stucco, or cracked vinyl.
- Bathrooms: The area around the tub or shower has no signs of water damage or mould.
- Appliances: Major appliances like the fridge and stove are well maintained and in good working order.
The selling agent should be well educated on the property and be able to answer any questions a potential buyer might have or be able to get an answer quickly.
Keep this checklist in mind when looking at potential homes. It could help save you time & money in the long run.