With low interest rates, low inventory, and rising home prices impacting a would-be buyer’s house hunt in the real estate market today, a buyer (along with countless others competing for the same type of house) may feel like they’re looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack.
For many buyers, finding a house in the expected price range and having their offer be accepted after weeks or months of searching may feel like they’ve reached the “x” that marks the spot on the treasure map. The relief that the hunt is over and that they’ll be able to move past the “hunt part” and get on to the “buy part,” and move in and move on with their life, is palpable.
While it may be tempting to celebrate, buyers beware. Regardless of the real estate climate, don’t let the relief of “finally” having an offer accepted turn into buyer’s remorse after closing of having settled on a house that really wasn’t the perfect fit that you’d hoped.
With the help of a professional home inspector, uncovering a house’s hidden issues is the best bet to make sure that that dream home doesn’t turn into a nightmare and money pit down the road.
Below is a checklist of items that should be considered when you’re ready to buy, no matter the market, and if you’ve toured one, 10, or 20 houses.
According to the experts, well-maintained roofs can last 30 years or more. The roof can be an indicator of the overall condition of a house, from the outside looking in. Poorly installed shingles or shoddy materials that need replacing may be a sign of water runoff and potential damage to the interior of the home. Gutters, downspouts, and leader pipes should be functional to prevent rainwater from collecting and potentially channeling toward the house and into the basement.
Cracks in the foundation can be another telltale sign of structural issues with the house. Sometimes they can be caused by concrete shrinkage, settlement of the soil, or over-loaded foundations. Sometimes they can be caused by overall structural issues with the foundation, or a crumbling foundation, and costly to fix. While depending on the issue it may not be a deal breaker, cracks in the foundation should be investigated further.
Water is enemy No. 1, and old plumbing, mold, and mildew can cause extensive damage to the structure of the home. Pipes in the bathroom and kitchen should be checked to see how well they are maintained or if they need updating. Broken pipes can cause serious damage to a property in the form of mold and mildew.
If the house is damp and smells musty, it is an indication that more investigation is necessary. Those smells may mean that mold or mildew have infiltrated the house. Sometimes, signs of mold or mildew can be seen on windowsills or under rugs. All these things can potentially trigger allergic reactions and shouldn’t be ignored.
Replacing faulty wiring can be expensive to repair and replace down the road and should be inspected. Faulty wiring can cause structural fires, especially in older homes and buildings.
Don’t ignore a house’s framing. While slanting, uneven floors don’t necessarily mean that the house has structural problems, inspecting further issues such as gaps between baseboards and flooring, wavy or bowed siding, doors that don’t close, “wiggly” decks, or loose railings should be completed.
This is only the start of the considerations of condition when buying a new home. Just because your offer was accepted doesn’t mean that at the end of the day the house is going to be acceptable to you. Be sure to have a professional home inspection to make an informed decision to move forward with the sale of this house, or to get back out there and keep hunting.
Melissa Rolland is a Real Estate Salesperson and Realtor 1/4 u00ae, Accredited Home Stager, and author of the book “Straight from the Kitchen Table: Every Day Real Estate.” She lives in Tolland along with her husband Todd, an Associate Broker and Realtor 1/4 u00ae. Together they manage the Rolland Realty Group powered by eXp Realty of CT, LLC. You can connect with them at www.RollandRealtyGroup.com, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (866) 408-8059. "The statements and opinions contained in this article are solely those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the positions or opinions of EXP REALTY INTERNATIONAL, INC or its subsidiaries or affiliates (the “Company”). The Company does not assume any responsibility for, nor does it warrant the accuracy, completeness or quality of the information.
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