Buying a house is a big investment. Paying for a down payment and a mortgage is costly enough. The last thing you need is to add a heavy-duty repair bill to your expenses. It can happen all too easily, though, if you’re not careful. Here are four of the most important to pay close attention when looking at a piece of property. Buyer beware!
Having a home is often summed up as “having a roof over your head.” What good is it, however, if that roof is full of holes or, even worse, on the verge of caving in? Roofs are not cheap. Luckily, roof funding can save you a financial headache by providing you with the exact funds you need and laying out how you can pay back the loan.
Are there shingles damaged or missing? How about leaks? If there’s a chimney, is it still in use? If so, how stable is it? Prior to the house going on the market, were the gutters cleaned regularly to prevent backup and subsequent water damage? Be observant and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Not only are plumbing and electrical two of the most essential things you want to have in working order when moving into a new house, they’re also two of the ones that can cause the most damage if left neglected.
When touring a property, turn on every faucet to make sure the water is running and keep an eye out for drippy fixtures and leaky pipes. Bring a phone charger with you to test out the electrical outlets and don’t forget to flip the light switches on and off, too. Inspect the electrical panel to make sure it’s well organized. A messy one is often indicative of larger issues behind the scenes.
Foundation issues are some of the most dangerous problems a house can have, but also some of the more easily missed. Check along the bottom of the exterior walls of the building for cracks. Small ones aren’t usually a problem, as they’re a natural byproduct of house settling. Large ones, however, are a big red flag. If the home has a basement, look there, too.
Other signs of significant foundation issues include doors and windows that stick in their frames or have trouble closing, as these can be indicative of uneven floors caused by sinking. A quick and easy way to find out if a floor is uneven is to put a ball down and see if it rolls. A sinking foundation can quickly lead to expensive structural issues, as well as result in pest infestations.
One common culprit behind a lot of household damage is mold. There are many ways for mold to gain a foothold on a piece of property, but one of the more major ones is poor ventilation. Inadequate ventilation leads to moisture build-up, which in addition to forming mold can also exacerbate allergies.
On top of affecting one’s health, poor ventilation can result in a number of hidden costs. For instance, the increased humidity in the summer is likely to require your air conditioner to work twice as hard as normal, driving up your energy bill while also lessening your basic comfort.