What to Investigate Before Purchasing a House

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Executive Realty 91362

Buying a home is a big decision that can be difficult to make without doing your research. Embarking on due diligence is essential before signing on the dotted line.

Committing to a real estate transaction you might regret can happen easily without proper research.

When you do your homework, they'll be a peace of mind knowing you've purchased a great property.

Let's look at five things you should investigate before buying a home.

The Death History of a Home

For some folks, the death history of a property can be a critical piece of information. Some buyers will not purchase a home where a death took place. For others, it's not so much if death took place but how it occurred.

It may not be a big deal when someone dies of natural causes in a house. On the other hand, it might be a different story if the death was due to murder or suicide.

Many potential buyers want to find out who died in a house. Maximum Real Estate Exposure has one of the best resources for finding the death history of a property. It's worth checking out.

Some properties out there have a suspicion of being haunted or exhibiting paranormal activity. Is this something you could live with? Do you even believe in such things?

Whether you do or not, it still could be crucial to find out. It could make a difference when it comes time to sell the property.

If a home has been sitting on the market for an extended amount of days there might be an underlying issue worth researching.

Does a Sex Offender Live Nearby?

Another issue that could be significant is whether a sex offender lives in the neighborhood.

When you consider whether to buy a property, it is vital to think about your family's safety.

It is also essential to research any sex offenders who may live in the area with that in mind. You can find this information online or through a local law enforcement agency.

It may not be a pressing issue if you don't have kids, but it could still be nice to know. You can never be too careful when it comes to the behavior of your neighbors.

You might be living next to a terrible neighbor and not even know it.

Is The Home in a Flood Zone?

It is always an excellent idea to look at the surroundings when visiting properties. Are there large bodies of water? Does the property contain a significant amount of wetlands?

These are signs that the property could be located in a flood zone. The apparent issue with living in a flood plain is the high potential for damage to your property.

Having a beautifully finished basement that gets destroyed by a flood would not be a pleasant experience to go through.

However, the secondary issue will be the associated cost of insurance. It is essential to note that home insurance does not cover you from flooding. You will need a separate insurance policy specifically for flooding.

The cost of flood insurance can be prohibitive! You could be looking at thousands of additional dollars.

Whether you need flood insurance is certainly something worth investigating before making an offer for a house.

Does The Home Have Any Mold?

With numerous home buyers waiving home inspections around the country due to the crazy hot seller's market, items such as mold are going unchecked.

When there is a severe amount of mold, even a layperson may notice it. What I am referring to is something more subdued.

It is not unusual for mold to be missed in places like attics and basements where an occasional or even one-time water incursion happens.

It will be essential to take an extra hard look around to see if you spot any areas that look like mold. If you suspect mold, it is easy enough to have a professional come in and check.

Are There Any Electrical Problems?

Another thing to look for is any areas where there are problems with the electrical system. This could include things like flickering lights, a deal-breaker, or a problem with the wiring.

If you notice any of these issues, it is vital to have them fixed before you make an offer on the property.

The cost of electrical repair can be pretty high and can quickly wipe out your savings if it isn't taken care of promptly.

In addition, if there are any major electrical problems in the home, they may also be responsible for water damage from breakers tripping or from fires that start in faulty wiring.

Does The Home Have Lead Paint?

When you purchase a home built before 1978, there is a chance that lead paint exists.  Lead paint can be dangerous and can cause health problems if ingested.

If you have a child under the age of six and there is lead paint in a home you're interested in buying, you must remove it. If not, you would not be in compliance with the Federal lead paint law.

If you are concerned about lead paint, it is crucial to have a professional assess the situation. This assessment will cost money, but it is well worth the investment in your safety.

Final Thoughts

These are just a few things to consider when buying a home. Many other factors should be taken into account. The structural and mechanical integrity are crucial.

However, even things like the condition of the appliances, floors and whether or not there have been any recent repairs made to the home are vital.

By doing your research, you will be able to decide whether or not buying a particular home is right for you.

Hopefully, none of these items are potential issues, and you'll be able to move forward with a great home.

Posted by

Bill Gassett is a thirty-two year veteran to the real estate industry. He enjoys providing helpful information to buyers, sellers and fellow real estate agents to make sound decisions. His work has been featured on RIS Media, National Association of Realtors, Inman News, Placester, RESAAS, Credit Sesame and others.

Comments (7)

Norbert Fabre, MRSA
Indoor Microbial Specialist IMS - Fort Lauderdale, FL
Mold Inspector & Mold Assessor

Glad to see I made it to the list. Great guide of things to investigate. Have a nice day. 

Apr 27, 2022 11:41 AM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em: golfArizona@cox.net

Great information.  Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful "Hump Day" bill

Apr 27, 2022 12:42 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Bill - everyone except number one are definite musts.  For number one it depends on the buyer.

Apr 27, 2022 01:18 PM
Paddy Deighan MBA JD PhD
http://irstaxdebt.pro - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

I had a foreclosure client who did not want to sell...during listing appointments, his wife would sun bathe naked ouy back (waterfront property). Consequently, buyers wouls politely leave lol

Apr 27, 2022 10:49 PM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Great information, thanks for sharing.  I hope you have a great day.

Apr 28, 2022 03:33 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

This is a great list and so important!  Many buyers these days, caught up in bidding wars, don't have time to think about these issues.  So...they should consider them BEFORE they actively start looking for a home and how they will deal with each issue.

Apr 28, 2022 10:26 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Points to ponder!  In Arizona, thankfully, we have a buyer advisory that is 11 pages long!  We have so much discovery that it could make ones head spin!  Going over that in print and with an email that shows the live links is  super helpful for buyers.  Yours has an extra point though - #1!   Great list!

May 12, 2022 01:39 PM