As a first-time homeowner, you understandably may feel anxious about selecting the right property to purchase. Stories about homebuyers getting burned by discovering significant property damage after moving in are common. One reason why this is a common occurrence is because of the assumption that a newer or aesthetically appealing property is in excellent condition. In reality, many serious repair issues may not be obvious to an untrained eye. To ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of a property’s true condition before finalizing purchase plans, consider taking these important steps.
Look for Signs of Damage During the Walk-Through:
Before deciding to purchase a home, you may look for pleasing fixtures and design elements, a functional layout and more. In addition to focusing on these aspects of a home, look for signs of serious issues. For example, water spots or warping may signify potential mold growth underneath the walls. Doors and windows that stick and cracks in walls and concrete may indicate a potential foundation issue.
Learn About Major Systems and Components:
Another step to take before making an offer on a home is to inquire about the age and condition of major systems and components. This may include the HVAC system, the water heater, the roof and other features. Understand typical longevity for these features so that you can estimate if they will require replacement soon after you move in.
Order a Home Inspection:
A property inspection is usually optional, but it can tell you critical details about a home’s condition. For example, you may learn about electrical issues, malfunctioning appliances, plumbing problems and more. After receiving the inspection report, you may determine that there is a need to order more specialists tests and reports.
Request Special Tests:
Environmental concerns like radon, asbestos, mold, and carbon monoxide are serious issues that can impact your health. Their presence may be difficult or impossible for you to detect without the use of advanced testing techniques. By ordering these special tests, you can feel confident that the home you are interested in will be a safe environment for you and your family members.
Hire a Plumber:
Plumbing issues are common, and they can lead to significant property damage if they are not addressed quickly. A plumbing inspection may tell you about the age and condition of the pipes and water features. It may also reveal the need to snake a few pipes, to use hydro-jet techniques to clear the sewer line, to replace the water heater, or to take other crucial steps.
In addition to following these tips, you may also purchase a home warranty. A home warranty may cover some or all costs of repairs that are included in your coverage. Some buyers negotiate for the seller to pay for warranty coverage for the first year or two of ownership. In any event, following the steps above will help you making a decision you won’t regret.