So, you think you’ve found your dream home. Don’t break out the champagne and put an offer in until you’ve read this! There are a few signs you should really look out for to make sure that your dream home is actually all it seems – and not going to cost you an absolute fortune in the long run.
A house is going to be the largest purchase of your whole life. It’s a big financial commitment, and you’re going to be tied into your mortgage for around 30 years. Factoring in unexpected costs and the unknown isn’t something everybody wants to do, but it can be necessary if you don’t end up making the right purchase.
Here are the signs you need to look out for that could indicate you’re better off steering clear of that house:
There Are Problems In The Basement
If you want to know if there are problems in your dream home, it’s a good idea to check out the basement. It should be a focus of yours when you’re having a real estate inspection carried out. By taking a close look at the basement, you’ll get a good idea of the quality of construction, the condition of the HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems. You’ll also be able to see how well previous owners have maintained the building. You want to avoid things like leaking water heaters, old AC systems, and loose wires.
Open each window to make sure none of them are damaged or stuck. You’ll spend a lot of money on replacing your windows if you don’t end up checking them out properly. Having single-paned windows can be one of the most energy draining things you have in your home. Think about the long term cost of having bad windows vs having great windows installed.
Potential Water Issues
Have a look for cracked walls that could indicate issues with water next time it rains. Damp smells and stains are also a good indicator of problems with standing water. Make sure you check out the kitchen and bathroom as well as the basement, and ensure the showers, toilets, and sinks have all been taken care of. You also want to look for mold and mildew build up, corroded pipes, and fittings that haven’t been sealed properly. Mold indicates a moisture issue has been unaddressed, and the signs can sometimes be hard to spot. Unusual smells are usually a dead give away.
Make sure you also check out the ceilings for discoloration, peeling paint, and bubbling wallpaper.
Issues With Your Foundation
Your home needs to rest on solid footing, and while you can’t do a structural inspection on your own, you can look out for small signs that will tell you whether there’s a bigger problem. You can easily look out for things like cracked foundation walls, buckling, or gaps.
Minor foundation problems probably won’t lower your home’s value. However, larger problems will. So, you’ll either need to repair them before you sell, or sell the house “as is”. If you see any symptoms of foundation failure you definitely need to contact a foundation repair professional and schedule an inspection.
The warning signs may seem like normal home issues, but they should not be ignored. Although the most common cause of foundation repair comes from the soil beneath it, leaking pipes, a damaged crawl space, and a number of other situations can also severely affect your foundation.
One thing you can do if you want to make sure your dream home isn’t problematic, is visit right after it has rained or there has been bad weather. This is a good option for spotting leaks, drainage problems, or general weather-proofing issues. Happy buying!