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Barbara Charlton does a fabulous job outlining 6 big things to check out when you are out to buy a home. These all are the heavy hitting basics of the "bigger ticket" items that if they need to be done can be pretty big in terms of cost for your buyers.
It always makes sense to follow up a Purchase offer with a professional home inspection, but this will give you some indicators.
The other recommendation we make at Tim Francis Realty is to visit any home you are considering buying at least twice. This is because you will see things on the second visit that your eyes don't catch on the first trip. The less surprises the better.
Buyers tend to look at homes from a lifestyle perspective: How big is the yard? Is the house close to the school? Are the bedrooms big enough? All of these are valid considerations.
Besides being an agent, I have a background in construction and remodeling, which helps me a lot. (Yes, it's true, demo is always the most fun!) But it leads me to look at a home a little differently, keeping an eye on items that might carry a big price tag to remedy.
Your inspector will review these, as well. But screening them at the showing can save time and money before you start scheduling inspections.
First, Keep Score
It's normal to visit several houses in one day, and the details will begin to blend. I like to score on a scale of 1 to 10. It makes for an easy review when you begin narrowing down to favorites. Notes are great, too, such as "old appliances" or "cracked floor tile in master bath."
1. The Roof
How old is the roof? Does it appear aged, while neighboring houses all have brand new roofs? (Was there a recent storm, and did the seller make an insurance claim?) Are water stains from on-going water damage? If you decide to make an offer on the home, ask the seller to provide the CLUE report, showing all claims for the last five years.
Replacing windows gets expensive. There might be added costs for wall repair if stock replacements won't fit. You could custom order new windows. Or, use remodeler-packs (new sashes that fit inside the opening), which are less expensive, but also decrease the viewing area of the glass.
3. Electrical, HVAC , and Plumbing
Is the furnace ancient? Is the central air unit covered in weeds? If the plumbing is from the 1930s, or the electrical is still knob-and-tube, your inspector might recommend that one or more professionals take a look.
4. Cracks and Gaps
It's pretty common to see a hairline crack at the top of a vaulted ceiling, as humidity and temperature changes cause drywall, mud, and tape to expand and contract. However, a wide, diagonal crack in a wall, a bowed wall, or foundation block with jagged cracks indicate the need for professional review.
5. Location, Location, Location
Specifically, what is located near or next to the house? Is there a municipal water tower in the back yard? Are there high-voltage power lines so close that you can hear them humming? You might want to sell someday, even if this is the house of your dreams today. So account for such features in your offer price.
6. Damp or Wet Basements
Does the basement smell dank and musty? Is there drain tile and a sump pump, and is the pump working? Or, does the pump run all the time? Do you see water stains creeping up the walls from the base? It could be a very simple fix, like correcting the grade outside so water runs away from the house. But it bears noting, and a closer look.
Your agent doesn't have to have all the answers when they show you the house, but it sure helps to know which questions to ask. Enjoy your search!
Tim Francis Realty is a boutique real estate firm that offers Residential Buying , Selling, Executive Home Leasing and Property Management in Atlanta, Buckhead and Sandy Springs, GA. Give us a call, ya'll. 404-219-9760
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.