Are you looking for a new home, but you’re unsure of what to look for? If you’re a first-time buyer, you may not know how to spot concerning signs. Most homes are spruced up before they’re put on the market.
You’ll probably see fresh flowers on the dining table, new laminate flooring, and fresh paint. However, that shouldn’t distract you from properly inspecting a house. Here are some things to look out for as you begin your search.
1. General Inspection
It’s a good idea to hire an inspector who can thoroughly examine the whole house. A professional may be able to spot things you won’t. However, there are a few things you can look out for for yourself as you explore homes on market.
For instance, you may notice condensation on the window sills or feel drafts near the windows. This can indicate a much bigger problem and can even dramatically increase your energy bills throughout the year. Other things to look out for include:
- Roof problems
- Chimney cracks
- Rotting wood
- Grading problems
- Structural problems
- Leaking pipes
A professional can spot the signs of these problems even before they’re noticeable to you.
Many homebuyers make the mistake of thinking that mold is obvious to spot. The truth is, mold can be easy to temporarily cover during viewings. When you’re inspecting a home, look for wet patches along the walls and black stains near water points.
Mold also has a distinct smell. The home may smell damp as you walk through it if there is mold present. If all you can smell is fresh paint, that could also be an indication that the owners are trying to cover something up.
Every homeowner deals with pests at some point. It’s common to find ants and mice during ownership but some pests are cause for more concern. For example, termite infestations can ruin the structure of a property.
Similarly, it’s always important to check the basement and attic during a home inspection. Bats like to hide out in attics and they can make a lot of noise and be difficult to move. Once you’ve moved into your new home, it’s worth getting in touch with a local pest control company to prevent any pests on your property.
4. Heating and Air Conditioning
One of the best home inspection tips is to check the heating and air conditioning systems of any home. It’s also important to check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If any of these are not working properly, they’re not only expensive to replace but they could be hiding a dangerous problem.
Inspecting a House Yourself
Inspecting a house yourself is a good idea but it’s also important that you invest in an inspector who is trained to spot problems you may not notice. This is especially important if you are looking at older homes that are more prone to issues.
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