Things to Check Before Buying a House

Buying a house is stressful but buying a house with underlying problems is worse. Learn about things to check and things to look for when buying a house.

In the market for a new home? Before you take out a home loan,, there’s a whole host of things to check before buying a house! Whether this is your very first home purchase or you’ve been down this road before and are looking for additional home inspection tips, this post is for you!

What Are the Things to Look for When Buying a House?

A home’s curb appeal, square footage and the number of beds and bathrooms may draw you in initially, but your close and careful attention is required before you decide it’s the right house for you.

Below are some major issues to watch for, and the potential implications of each issue:

  • Old HVAC Systems
    Most heating and cooling systems have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years. If you discover the HVAC in your prospective new home is on the older side, this should give you pause. You may have to purchase a new HVAC system soon, and that is a major expense ranging from $5,000 to $10,000.
  • Outdated Appliances
    A kitchen may look great on the surface, but if the appliances are old, or not working well, you may have to spend big money to replace them. During a walk-through of a home, ask if you can turn on and try out appliances that are included with the sale, possibly including the dishwasher, refrigerator, stove, garbage disposal, washing machine and dryer.
  • Foundation Issues
    While most homes will have hairline cracks in the foundation indicating settling, large gaps point to a more significant and expensive problem. Purchasing a home that needs foundation work is a huge risk you probably don’t want. Other signs pointing to foundation issues include windows or doors that stick, visible cracks above window frames and uneven floors.
  • Roof Problems
    Before you enter the home, look up at the roof. If it appears to be sagging, caving in or missing shingles, you may be headed for a costly roof replacement in the near future. You should always be able to find out exactly how old the roof is and the materials used to build it. Depending on the quality of materials and the weather conditions, a roof should last about 25 years.
  • Mold
    Of all the things to look for before buying a house, mold can be the most inconspicuous. During your walk-through, you may have to look behind water pipes and drains or open the bathroom or kitchen sink cabinets to look for signs of mold and mildew, which will often look like black spots or patches. Other places to check include the ceiling and any caulking in the bathroom and kitchen.
  • Water Damage
    Speaking of mold and mildew, if you detect a musty odor throughout the home or in a certain room or area, that’s an indication of water damage, which is a major cause of mold and mildew. Assess ceilings and walls for water lines that may reveal a leak or flood. Also, look for rust on exposed pipes in laundry rooms or the basement.
  • Carpet and Floor Damage
    People trying to sell their homes will sometimes be tempted to hide flooring damage with creatively placed furniture and area rugs. Be sure to lift area rugs and furniture to check all carpets and hardwood flooring for damage. Even if you decide you are willing to repair or live happily with the damage, it’s good to know in advance what you’re dealing with.

Our Top 4 Home Inspection Tips

The home buying experience is simultaneously exciting and nerve-wracking. You may feel some pressure to find a home quickly. However, it’s important to take your time. By being as thorough as possible during the home evaluation process you may save a lot of money and headaches.

After you’ve spent time evaluating the home for yourself and are getting ready to make an offer:

  1. Schedule a Professional Inspection
    Most buyers have their homes professionally inspected as a condition of the offer. Make sure this is on your realtors’ radar and schedule an appointment with a reputable, local home inspector.
  2. Set Realistic Expectations
    No house will be perfect. Think about your deal-breakers and understand what you’re willing to work with and what would cause you to walk away.
  3. Attend the Inspection
    During the inspection, be ready to ask questions about the home. Use this as a time to look into the attic and other out-of-reach areas of the home. 
  4. Negotiate Repairs and Replacements
    If an inspection turns up a major issue, especially unexpected one, it allows you to further negotiate the price of the home with the current owners.

Choose Rainbow International® for Home Restoration & Remediation You Can Count On

Whether you end up buying a picture-perfect home or a real fixer-upper, chances are good that at some point your home will benefit from professional home restoration or remediation services.

When that time comes, choose Rainbow International. We provide homeowners with reliable, IICRC-certified services from carpet cleaning and odor removal to water and fire damage remediation and restoration.  Many locations also provide full-service reconstruction.

Call (855) 724-6269 to speak to one of our friendly team members, or request an appointment online to get started today.

Another real estate watch-outs? Knob and tube wiring. Learn all about it with help from our friends at Mr. Electric®, a Neighborly company.