In this competitive real estate environment, it’s not uncommon for buyers to feel pressure to make quick offers or outbid others in order to land a house. And with increasingly faster closings, buyers may worry they don’t have enough time to properly inspect a house before the closing date.
Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to have a certified home inspector check out your house before you close. And, with these tips from SureHome, you can do your own mini-inspection of a home during the tour to see whether bigger problems exist that should make you pass on the deal.
Remember, nearly any home issue can be fixed. However, it’s better to factor repairs into your price or wait for the next home to come along than it is to get stuck with a lemon.
First and foremost, if you have serious interest in a home, we recommend getting a copy of the Seller’s Disclosure document. This signed form should disclose any known issues with the home, and give you a guide of what to look at more closely as you walk around.
Next, follow these five simple steps to anticipate whether the home may have hidden issues that need to be fixed before you move in.
Look closely at the roof as you approach the house from the street. Are there any caved in areas or sagging edges? Also look for significant roof staining or large amounts of tree limbs on the surface. These can show signs of roof deck damage, water retention or worn shingles.
As you walk around the outside of the house, do you see any signs of water stains on the walls? Any discolored paint on the walls or ceilings inside? These could be an indication that roof flashing isn’t installed properly, or that there are roof or plumbing leaks.
Check out the main electrical panel, which is usually in the garage. Also take a quick look at light fixtures, switches and outlets. Any rust on these items could be a sign of past leaks or high moisture levels in the house.
If you’re walking around outside the house, look at the corners for cracks in the foundation. These are usually minor and due to normal concrete shrinkage. However, bigger cracks may be an indication of more severe issues like foundation settling and structural problems.
On the inside, it’s also important to look for wall and ceiling cracks as you walk around. While this is usually just drywall seam movement, they can be a sign of foundation or truss movement as well.
Lastly, look for signs of fresh paint around the house, or paint that doesn’t bond well to the wood underneath. Fresh paint may be a sign of recent repairs. Bubbling or pealing paint can also mean that the wood below has high moisture content or even rot. However, it may also be as simple as paint not bonding to new wood or pressure treated lumber.
With these simple walk-through tips, buyers should be able to spot many of the major issues that can lead to expensive repairs. And as long as you know about them from the beginning, you can factor these repairs into your offer and still end up with your dream home.
After you’ve found your home, let SureHome give it a thorough review to make sure no serious issues exist. Together, we can make sure you’re buying a home meant to last for many years.