One concern during home buying is full seller disclosure. So, it’s important to hire a professional home inspector, understand what they’re looking for, where/why there could be issues, and when to walk away.
Coupled with your professional inspection report and this helpful list of areas to keep on an eye on, you’ll be able to comfortably move forward, or not.
Here are things to look out for:
Start with the Outside
- Check for foundation cracks that may indicate structural concerns.
- Assess the slope of the yard to observe the potential for water runoff during times of heavy rains. Yards sloping to the house are the most suspect, but may have water control systems in place.
- Check the exterior walls, soffits and fascia for brick that needs tuck pointing or siding that is warped, damaged or rotting.
- Pay particular attention to the roof’s age and condition. Missing shingles, dips in the roof, or chimney damage can all lead to water leakage or structural damage.
- Look for exterior evidence of insects, birds or rodents.
Onto the Inside the Home
- Check for odors in every room – cigarette or pet odors can be hard to eliminate and can cause allergic reactions. Mold and mildew odors may signal hidden problems and cause health concerns. Even deodorizers or bleach odors can belie a problem, so try to “sniff out” underlying issues.
- Look for plumbing concerns that may be contributing to any noted problematic odors and check the water pressure.
- Doors that don’t close could be a minor adjustment or structural issue.
- Look at the electrical system for age, size and type of wiring – are there flickering lights when the house is all lit up?
- Does the HVAC system appear old or in need of maintenance?
- Is there any evidence of water leaking near or around the hot water tank?
- What is the condition and age of the windows – newer windows will likely reduce drafts and save energy costs.
- Based upon the age and location of the house is there a potential for lead paint, asbestos, radon or other contaminants?
As always, it’s important to have a professional do a thorough check of the home, and to work hand-in-hand with your Realtor®. Small problems now can become big problems later if left unchecked or unseen. So feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you find your dream home.
Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.
Photo courtesy of David Train / Flickr