There’s nothing worse than finding a great home only to find it’s a money pit waiting to happen. No house is as perfect as it may appear, and sellers won’t always disclose everything that’s wrong. With an inspection and due diligence on the part of you and your agent, you can discover most potential problems:
Look around the neighborhood: Are there many homes for sale? Are local stores and restaurants closing? If people are looking to leave the neighborhood, there’s a reason why.
Pay close attention to the exterior: Extra layers of roofing, boards near walls, plants growing out of the gutters or cracks in the pavement can indicate that not much care went into maintaining the property.
Look at the yard grading: If it slopes toward the house, it could cause a serious water problem with water running down the foundation walls or into the basement. Scour the foundation for damage as bulges and cracks bigger than one-third inch can mean the house has serious structural issues.
Use your eyes and nose: The smell of sewage, gas or unpleasant odors could be caused by serious issues. Hire a plumbing company to send a camera through the pipes to determine if there are blockages or breaks.
Check the electrical: Flip light switches. inspect the fuse box. If things appear ancient, it can be costly once you move in.
Keep a lookout for insects: Bugs, ants and traps could be a sign that there’s a problem.
With a little detective work, you can save a lot of time and money to make sure things are good enough to become your home.