Whether you’re a first time homeowner or a frequent mover, looking for a house never stops being a process fraught with pitfalls. When you’re paying to buy a piece of property and making a long-term commitment to a mortgage, the last thing you want to find out after the fact is that your expensive new home is unsafe and/or requires a significant investment to repair.
There’s nothing wrong with owning a fixer-upper, except for when you that wasn’t what you thought you were getting. It’s important to be vigilant and meticulous when inspecting a potential property. Here are some of the main issues you want to beware of when looking for a house.
Lack of Weather Treatment
Depending on where you’re planning to move, your home will likely have different, climate-specific needs. If you’re up in Canada looking at Halton real estate, for instance, you’re probably going to want a home that is well insulated to keep the cold air out and the warm air in.
Alternatively, if you’re looking at homes in Tampa, Florida, a well maintained air conditioning system is a must, and don’t forget anti-hurricane measures like metal shutters or even back-up generators. Remember that when you move into a new house, you’re also moving into a whole new climate. A home that’s poorly outfitted for its environment is a guaranteed money put.
Bad Electrical and Plumbing
When looking at a house, it’s easy to focus on the surface features. How many bedrooms does it have? How many baths? Is the garage big enough? And so on. But just like you shouldn’t just a book by its cover, you shouldn’t judge a house by its façade. Behind the walls and beneath the floors, a very different story could be waiting.
Bad electrical wiring and old, neglected plumbing aren’t just an inconvenience, they can be a genuine threat. It’s not just a matter of having to replace an outlet or dealing with a leaky faucet, decaying wires can result in blackouts and even fires, while a busted pipe not only demands expensive repairs but can also cause severe water damage through flooding.
Major Structural Damage
Every house suffers a little wear and tear over time, and it’s not uncommon to buy a house knowing it has a few minor issues that need dealing with. The problem is when those minor issues are actually major issues, with the worst arguably being structural damage. When a home’s foundation is in disrepair, it can be all too easy to overlook. The longer it goes untreated, though, the worse the situation will get.
When looking at a property, open and close the interior doors. If they stick or don’t close all the way, it could be because the foundation is uneven. Similarly, try putting a marble down on the floor. If it rolls, that indicates crooked floors and possible sinking.