Considering purchasing a home?
There are a few simple issues you can inspect for yourself before bringing in your inspector for the full evaluation. They can often give you and your clients an idea of the state of overall maintenance of the house you are selling or considering purchasing. Then again, some are just fun to do.
1. Roof: checking the roof for need of replacement can vary from the extreme to the minor – here’s how to know when and how to tell the difference. Roofs in need of replacement will: curl, discolored, broken or missing pieces, very dirty including moss growth or leaking. In the summer . are there areas that look wet . all water should run off the roof after a storm, if the roof is holding water or puddles exist, the roof needs work right away
3. Structure: stand across the street from the house . does it look straight? Is the building shifted or leaning at all?
4. Appliances: Dishwasher: Look at the ceiling under the dishwasher for any stains; look under the kitchen sink for any water or stains in the cupboard
Fridge: take a bill (any denomination will do) and close the fridge door on it, with half in the fridge and half out. Now pull on the bill . you should feel the bill being held back some, if not you are losing valuable cold air from the fridge and a new magnetic strip is recommended.
5. Electrical System: is the wiring overhead sourced? If so, are the wires clear of obstructions and is the entry mast metal and in good condition? Is the meter and panel at least 100 amps? If not, you may need expensive
6. Heating System: is there a central system and what is the distribution network? If the house relies on electric or oil heat, there is a good chance you cannot install air conditioning easily.
7. Grading: check all areas of the property for a slope towards the house. Note any grates or alternate water management systems as this may be an indication of ongoing problems
8. Landscaping: look for trees and gardens that come right up to the house or overhang the siding materials or roof. These will decrease the lifespan of the finishing materials. These trees will also allow raccoons and
squirrels easy access to your roof and potentially the attic.
9. Siding: depending on the materials used, you can determine if regular maintenance is required, and what stage it is in. With stucco siding . look for cracks, dents or other damage. Overall, look for rust, mold, or other damage.
10. Breathe: taking a deep breath when you walk in the door of the house can tell you a lot. Does it smell earthy, musty, damp or fresh? Trust the first breath in the door and you will know what to look for.
Please note these items are simply a launching pad to get an idea of the homes you are viewing in your process, they will not indicate if you are paying fair market value for the house, only your Realtor can determine this information.
Your inspector will be able to make better recommendations and offer potential solutions to these issues and questions, as well he/she will evaluate a much more extensive list of items.