Thinking of buying a house? Are you a first time buyer? Chances are you’re not too sure what to look for… Buying a house for yourself is a large and expensive investment so you have to be 100% sure and there should be some make or break factors.
Once the list of what you need in the house is done, it’s time to start looking. But when you’re looking be sure to keep in mind that there are other things you need to watch out for. We’ve compiled a list of things you need to look for when touring a house.
Smell Strong Scents
Be aware of the scents around you because when you smell a bad smell, chances are it’s the smell of lingering wet pets rolling around in the carpet or a smoker living and smoking indoors or the family could be cooking really fragrant food without using the proper ventilation techniques to rid of the strong scent afterwards. Scents are particularly one of the harder things to get rid of because it comes out of every crevice of the house.
Be aware of bad scents, but also be wary if you smell an overdose of Febreeze or sweet scents. Realtors do all they can to make the house appear extra good to potential buyers and if there’s an excessive amount of smells, it’s a sign that tells you something smells fishy… (not necessarily the house)
Recognize Required Roof Repairs
When looking for a new place, be sure to check the outside too. The roof is a hefty repair and if the previous owner did not maintain the roof properly or choose cheap contractors to do a shoddy job, then you don’t want to be the one living in that consequence of a shoddy roof job.
You can tell if you need a new roof if there are shingles missing. Take a good look and point it out. See if there are any shingle pieces in the gutters or around the area. There are warning signs you need to keep top of mind when you’re looking at a house and debating whether or not it’s worth it.
Take the temperature of the house. Well, not like it’s sick or anything, but around the house. If you feel slightly cold in this area of the house or slightly hot in that area of the house it’s a sign of maybe faulty ventilation or heating and cooling systems. Once these systems start to wear and tear it’s really pricey to repair them that you might as well replace them.
The replacement fees are just expensive. On top of the price of the house, any improvements you want to do in terms of design for it to look like your home and having to replace the heating and cooling systems might go through your budget. It’s something that can be easily avoided by being interested in a house that actually works.
Plug Plumbing Pipes
Just like heating and cooling systems, plumbing pipes can be a hassle to live with and could be a wad of cash going down the drain. Faulty plumbing pipes can also result in higher water bills because of leaks that you’re unaware of.
Make sure you do your research on previously recalled plumbing pipes and if any plumbing is visible to the eye then compare. There have been cases of several families purchasing homes and realizing later that their house has faulty plumbing and they’ve been paying inflated water bills.
Pretty Paint in Peculiar Places
Don’t trust a fresh coat of paint in random spots. If the smell of fresh paint overpowers the natural scent of the house then it’s probably a sign. Some paint jobs are done to hide the imperfections of the house.
It’s really suspicious if it’s only a partial part done, or a partial wall, or just one wall. It’s normal to repaint the whole house but I’d advise you to still be wary. Be sure to ask a lot of questions on why it was done like this and why it was done like that.
Revealed Remnants from prior Residents
Remember to always ask about the ownership history of the house. Just like when you’re about to hire someone, it’s like looking at its resume. Something to look for is the length of ownership per owner.
Although this has proper reasons as to why it could happen, like being a “transition house” says the realtor… People aren’t shopping for a transition house, people are shopping to settle down in their forever home. If the turnover rate is high, there’s probably something wrong with the house and is a major warning sign that you’ll need to factor in.
Mystical Music Masking noise
Be sure that the realtor showing you the house is not playing any music. Music may be masking the surrounding neighbourhood noises which could be a huge factor for families considering starting a family where a newborn will be.
Make sure when you’re touring the house request that the AC and music be turned off so that you get the full experience of the house. There shouldn’t be any sort of white noise or factors that interfere with the aura of the house.
Surplus Sales on the Street
Before you start touring the house, make sure you do some reconnaissance on the neighbourhood. When driving up the street, take note of how many properties are on sale on the street. That could be a major red flag about the neighbourhood and not necessarily the house.
Looking around the neighbourhood and seeing how many properties are on sale in the neighbourhood rather than secluding the search area to the street will be a better representation of the neighbourhood. Asking questions to the realtor will probably shed some light on the subject.
Handy Handfuls of Everything
There are actually two types of cracks – structural cracks indicate there has been movement in the foundation while non-structural cracks indicate that there has been concrete shrinkage during the curing process. To put it another way, structural foundation cracks threaten your home’s structural integrity while non-structural foundation cracks do not.
Your home’s foundation is responsible for holding the rest of the house in place. You need it to be strong and stable to ensure your safety while living there. However, the foundation is often hidden beneath the ground, so you might need to contact a foundation professional for inspection. Check out more about – How to Know Your Property Has a Good Foundation?
Without inspection, it’s almost impossible to determine the cost of foundation repair. This is because the cost depends on various variables, including the type and extent of the damage, the repair solution, and your geographical location.
When taking the tour, get handy. Touch everything and make sure everything works. That means switching the light switches and looking up to see if the light turns on or if it’s a faulty switch turning the vent on in a bathroom on a different floor. Turning on all the faucets making sure more than droplets come out and tasting the water coming from the filter.
The reason why you should do this is because if this is your dream home, you need to make sure everything works and everything works right. Getting handy gives you an idea on all the fixtures and how they work.
Foundation problems are common in older homes. While the cause of some foundation cracks is the normal aging process in the home, other more serious foundation cracks may be the result of foundation settlement. Foundation problems are serious business because they can lead to structural problems with the building itself if they’re not promptly addressed.
Once you’ve found the perfect place for yourself, it’s time to prepare to move out. Clearing out can be a hassle, declutter and get rid of everything, a dumpster might be your best bet when prepping to move out. But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. Let’s find you a dream house first.