There is much to be said for the wisdom of experience. Fortunately for first time homebuyers, Apartment Therapy has gathered the knowledge of seasoned pros to create a list of 10 Things To Check Before You Buy a Home. Though some of these may sounds like simple suggestions, you might be surprised at the money it can save you in the long run!
1. Check the drains: It is not uncommon to find a backup somewhere between the house and the sewer line. Whether from a tree branch or a collapsed pipe, these issues are hard to spot until you run a load of laundry, fill the tub and sinks, and let them attempt to drain simultaneously.
2. Open all the windows: Replacing windows isn’t fun or cheap. Open them all to find out if they stick, are stuck, or simply won’t open.
3. Turn on the faucets: Changing faucets isn’t necessarily difficult, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to check before buying.
4. Light a fire in the fireplace: Know the state of the chimney. Do they need to be cleaned? Do they draft correctly?
5. Taste the water: Even if your city has great water, the age of a home’s pipes can certainly affect the quality. Know ahead of time whether you will want to install a whole house filter.
6. Flush the toilets: Knowing that all the toilets in the home can handle toilet paper is a bonus. Although they’re easy enough to replace or fix, finding ones that flush well are a bonus. If you’re dissatisfied they could issue you money back to make the replacement in order to complete the deal.
7. Open the electrical panel: Look for loose wires or ones that simply don’t connect to anything. It could signal that there’s live wires inside the walls.
8. Turn on the heat/air: Knowing that both of these things work prior to actually needing them can be a serious bonus. Check to make sure they blow their respective temperatures in addition to just turning on.
9. Pull the carpet back: Find out what’s underneath. You’ll want to know if there is any mold or mildew under the carpets; Or, on the flip side, you might just find some beautiful hardwood floors. Most homeowners will have a section of carpet removed in a closet to allow you to see the condition of the floors below.
10. Check for basement moisture: Although most home inspectors will sniff this one out for you, it’s smart to look for signs of dampness. Even if the walls aren’t apparently wet, telltale signs include dehumidifiers, bucks of silica, or other things that grab moisture from the air and keep it at bay.
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