6 Areas You Must Check When Out House Shopping1/29/2019
I am writing this assuming that the home your looking for is a "turn key", meaning you can move right in. These areas are often skipped over because they are not the picturesque areas of the house. These areas will, however, help you determine how your experience will be if you end up living there.
1. The Roof. You don't need to be a builder to know when something doesn't look right with the roof. Look for shingles that are bowed up or missing. Look for fading, if the shingles have discoloration that means they have been there a while. If there are a bunch of leaves and branches laying on the roof, that is not good either. Are there gutters and downspouts? And last, check the condition of the soffit, or the part of the roof that is under the overhang. Is it vinyl or wood? Is it rotten or fresh?
2. The Siding. As you’re walking toward the house and you just got done looking over the roof, move down to the siding. Find out whether it's vinyl, wood, aluminum, brick, stucco or shingled. If it's dirty vinyl or aluminum it can be easily cleaned by a power washer, but if pieces are cracked or hanging off, that may be more of a problem. If it's wood, check how well it's painted and notice any chipping, or rotting. If it’s brick, look at the mortar between the bricks. If it's stucco, check if you can see seams or holes in it. If it's shingled, check for the same aging signs you would on the roof.
3. The Pipes and Plumbing. The next two areas are in the basement mechanical room. When you get into the unfinished part of the basement, find out what piping material was used for the water and sewer. Check if it is copper, pvc or pex. If you’re in an older house you will be able to determine how many updates have been done based on how the plumbing looks.
4. The Heater and Water Heater. When you look at the heater, check to see if there is a maintenance schedule attached to it. That will give you an idea of how well it's been taken care of. Look to see how clean it looks, and check for burn marks on the outside. Check if it has an aluminum exhaust going straight up, or if it has exhaust running into a chimney, or a pvc exhaust going out of the basement wall. Lowest efficiency is the chimney, then aluminum, the highest is the pvc exhaust. With the water heater, simply check to make sure it's clean and free of rust.
5. The Electrical Wires and Outlets. As you’re looking through the house, you’re going to be drawn to the fancy new appliances in the kitchen and bathroom or the floor plan and whether or not you like the colors. It is at this point that you need to look at the outlets. Again, if they are old, you will be able to tell. Check to see if they’re grounded, meaning they have 3 prongs, (even though they have 3 prongs doesn't guarantee they’re grounded). Last, while you’re in the basement look at the electrical wires and box, just to make sure there isn't knob and tube, and that it's clean.
6. The Windows. The last thing to pay attention to is the windows. You will want to know whether or not the windows are vinyl, aluminum or wood. You will want to know whether they are painted over. If they are they may not open. And the last part to examine with windows is whether or not they have all the fixtures.
As you pay attention to these things, you will start to develop preferences as to what you like and what you would want in your home. All of these things are easy to change and may affect what you’re willing to offer for a house. Don't get distracted by all the nice updates a home has to offer without checking these important areas.