When buying a new home, many buyers depend upon the home inspection to turn up any issues. However, that home inspection happens after you’ve put in an offer, gotten accepted, gone through a mountain of paperwork, and have begun to dream about your new home. So, while there will probably be things that come up during the inspection period you don’t have control over, we wanted to help you spot some of the more obvious problems as you do your own walkthrough of the home.
Quick, DIY Home Inspection
Many buyers make gut instinct purchases based off of curb appeal and location. However, if you find a major problem in your apparent dream home right off the bat, you’re not only in a better negotiating position, you will be able to make a solid buying decision. So, here are the top five things to take a look at as you go through your home buying walkthrough:
1. Plumbing problems
Leaky faucets, clogged drains, and corrosion can all create huge water bills and leave you in a mess when you take possession of the house. You can check for a potential sewer clog pretty quickly. Run some water in a sink or tub and then listen to the plumbing. If the toilet sounds like coffee percolating or you get water around the floor drain in the basement, you know you have sewer concerns.
You can also check the water heater for its expiration date and look around pipes for visible leaks or corrosion. All of these are signs that the plumbing may need repair or replacement.
2. Foundation repair
Your home’s foundation is the support system for your entire house, so it’s vital to have a solid foundation. You can usually tell when there’s an issue by examining the walls in the home and down by the foundation – they won’t be level, or they will have cracks.
3. Roofing issues
A leaky roof, dry rot, mold, roof damage, and more can all lead to one thing – a need to replace the whole roof. That’s one of the most expensive repairs you can tackle! So, before you buy, be sure to look at the roof from the exterior and, if possible, on the interior as well. Inside the home you’re looking signs of water damage or – if you can see the wooden timbers supporting the roof – any rot. On the outside of the house, look for missing or stained shingles, moss growing on the roof, and any dips on the flat surfaces of the roof.
4. Poor electrical work
Even more than the expense, poorly done electrical work is dangerous. Look for electrical shortcuts by watching out for flickering lights, oddly positioned outlets, and outlets that are hot to the touch. And don’t just think this is an issue relegated to historic Portland homes! Some contractors will take shortcuts on a new property to get it on the market faster.
5. HVAC troubles
HVAC problems may not seem as urgent as plumbing or electrical issues. However, a heating and air system can harbor mold and may need drywall demolition to happen during the repair process. So, it’s an important system to check. Look for water leaks, inconsistent temperatures throughout the home, and check the dates on the HVAC equipment you can see. Also, consider how well it’s been maintained. If you see an outdoor unit that looks filthy or which has rust spots, it may need an overhaul.
If you are buying a home and you have concerns about the sewer system – you have the right to get a professional in to take a look. Contact Clog Busters LLC, and we will get you set up with a video inspection of the home’s sewers. Getting this work done can put you in a fantastic negotiating position – and help you buy your dream house.