When you step through the door of a home for the first time, there are things that snag your attention right away. You may love the floor plan, the style, the location...but beware of hidden red flags that could prove to be obstacles later on.
- DIY projects gone wrong - Use a critical eye when examining tile work, especially if the home was recently renovated. If the quality is lacking, it could mean some of those newly completed projects may need to be re-done.
- Foundation integrity - Look for large cracks in the foundation outside, sticking doors or windows, uneven floors, or cracks above window frames.
- Well-maintained - Was the previous owner on top of regular maintenance? Check for burned-out bulbs, leaky faucets, manicured landscaping, or faded paint.
- Near water - Having the river nearby could be picturesque, but it's not so great to have your basement flooded. Verify if the home is in a flood zone or if you can purchase flood insurance.
- Windows - Pull the windows open; they should slide easily. New windows can be an expensive fix.
- Check for leaks or mold - Open the cabinets below sinks to make sure there aren't any signs of water leaks or mold.
- Water damage - Are there any signs of water leaks on the ceilings, floors, or walls?
- Poor ventilation - Without adequate ventilation, water stays inside the home and can cause mold. Look for condensation on the windows or bubbled paint around doors, windows, and vents.
- Plenty of parking - Consider your needs for parking and drive through the neighborhood during weekends and evenings to see how crowded the streets are.
- Look beyond the staging - Is there a strong scent when you walk into the home? It could be masking an unpleasant odor. Look beneath area rugs or behind furniture for stains or other damage.
By paying attention to the less-obvious things and being thorough in your walk-through, you could be saving yourself time and headache later on.
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