Whether you are a first-time buyer or a third-time buyer, selecting a new home is very exciting. It’s understandable when buyers get caught up in the excitement, but don’t let it cause you to overlook these six very important areas to check before making a final decision.
Determine if the house is built on a concrete pad or if it has a stone, block, or poured concrete foundation. Check the foundation for cracking and water leaks. Make sure the foundation is standing straight. If the house is built on a concrete pad, check for uneven or sloping floors. Look for areas where there seems to be a high spot in the floor. Uneven floors can indicate cracking or settling of the concrete pad underneath.
Find out if the house is heated with natural gas, propane, or electric baseboard heaters. Have the furnace or baseboards checked by a professional to see that they function properly. If an exterior propane tank is required, determine the size of the tank and what the cost is to fill it. If the house has a central air unit, find out when it was last serviced. Take a look for yourself to see if the unit has been kept clean and well maintained.
Work with a professional electrician or inspector (Sun, 2016)to make sure all of the wiring meets the legal requirement. Make sure the outlets accept grounded (3 prong) plugs and that outlets near any water source are GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt) to protect against electrocution. Determine if the service panel is a sufficient size and make sure it is not overloaded.
The plumbing is another area that should be given a thorough inspection. Turn on faucets and check the water pressure. Watch the water drain to see if it flows down quickly or backs up in the sink. Flush the toilets. Look under sinks for evidence of water leaks.
Roofs can be asphalt, metal, or wood. Whatever the case may be, make sure that the roof of your potential new home is solid, not sagging or missing any shingles. Look for objects that have been attached directly to the roof as this presents areas for potential leaks. When inside the house, check the ceilings for yellow or brown patches that could indicate a water leak.
Last but not least, take a good look at any trees on the property. If you are unsure if they are healthy, an arborist is the person to call (Wikipedia, 2018). An arborist can check the trees for disease and decay and recommend whether the trees are safe to leave standing or not.