Be Your Own Inspector
When purchasing your new home, it is a good idea to take a look at the inner workings of the house, which can cost a small fortune if overlooked. Pay attention to the electrical, plumbing , heating and cooling aspects of your new home. Before hiring a professional, which is recommended before final purchase, there are a few things you can do first, to rule out any problems in the future.
Start at the Bottom.
Make sure the basement is in good shape. Look for signs of water damage and cracks in the structure. Many home owning problems seem to start in the basement.
Check outside plants.
Make sure outside plants are trimmed at least 30 inches away from the house. Insects can get in and out of a structure with the help of plants.
Too Much Water.
Does water seem to be flooding around the foundation? This indicates a need for better drainage of the soil next to the foundation. Walk through the house and look for water stains in the ceilings, the wallpaper, the carpet, and hardwood floors. Check the faucets, check below the sink, and flush the toilets. You can check water pressure by turning on the shower etc. Water is one of the biggest causes of household damage.
Get on Top of Things.
Check for a roof that may need repairing. Take a good look for a roof that is not straight. This can cause damage to the structure of the house itself. If it looks saggy, get a repair estimate.
Knock on Wood.
If the house you are looking to purchase has hardwood floors, make sure there are no elevated areas, no rotting wood.
Many financiers won’t approve a loan if there are major problems with the structure foundation. Still, it is a good idea to check for cracks and shifting in walls and floors. Walk through the house and check for cracks and movement in the walls, ceilings and floors. Inspect the areas where the walls and ceilings come together, change in foundation will be visible. If a house settles, the foundation will crack and can cause different problems. If a cracker is larger than a quarter of an inch, there could be problems. Expanding soil can cause cracking and eventually collapse.
Check for Termites.
Signs of termite infestation:
- Pencil-thin mud tubes extending over the inside and outside surfaces of foundation walls, piers, sills, joists, etc.
- The presence of winged (swarmer) termites, or wings they shed on window sills and along the edges of floors.
- Damaged wood hollowed out along the grain and lined with bits of mud or soil.
Termites eat wood.
Termites are attracted to moisture and are more likely to enter a structure if the soil next to the foundation is consistently moist. Water should be diverted away from the foundation with properly functioning gutters, spouts and splash guards. Leaking faucets, water pipes and air conditioning units should be repaired, and the ground next to the foundation should be sloped so that surface water drains away from the building.
Make Sure Everything Works!
This may sound simple, but it is true. Ask questions, make sure the heating works correctly. Make sure if there is air conditioning, that it works correctly. Asking questions now can save you money later.