House-hunting is exciting, fun and a significant life moment for everyone. While viewing listings online gives you an overview of what to expect, seeing the home in-person is another story. When you visit the property for the first time, you will have the chance to examine the space deeply to see if it meets your expectations.
The property may tick your general boxes, with the right number of bedrooms and a big kitchen, but there are some crucial elements to look out for. A home tour is where you need to assess the condition of the house, down to the minute details. You don’t want any surprises if you decide to purchase the home, such as finding out it’s full of mold.
By following these guidelines, you will know exactly what to watch out for when you’re viewing a house for the first time. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you’re buying a house and point out anything that you’re unsure about to your agent.
1. Open and close windows
It might seem tedious, but it’s essential to check all the windows when you are viewing a house. Replacing windows is a considerable cost, and you need to ensure they all work correctly. Beyond that, make sure they can lock and feel if any are loose. Check if they are weather-sealed since unsealed windows can let in a draft and lead to more expensive heating bills.
2. Check for cracks
Examine the walls and take note of any cracks. Cracks are never a good sign, and if there are any, it means there might be a structural issue. If the walls are drywall, then it could be a simple crack, but it’s still important to note. If the cracks show any sign of discoloration, they could be due to leaks behind the drywall. Regardless, bring any cracks to your agents’ attention when viewing a house to discuss the potential problems.
3. Keep an eye for water
Leaks are not an issue you want to deal with when you move into a new home, especially unexpected ones. When viewing a house, keep your eyes peeled on the ceilings and floors for the presence of any water damage. Typically, the basement is where you would find leaks, so look around thoroughly. If you do notice anything damp, then it’s crucial to find out what is causing the leak.
4. Examine the gutters
Walk around the exterior of the house and check for any lulls in the gutters. Replacing guttering is an expensive process, and spotting this issue ahead of time is essential. Some signs to look for include sagging, leaking, or gutters pulling away from the house. If you notice a lull, you can always hire professionals who will ensure your system is in top-notch condition. Consider trees around the property as well since they will determine how often you’ll need gutter cleaning and the likelihood of it getting clogged.
5. Have a look at the plumbing and electrical systems
You might not be an electric specialist, but it’s a good idea to have a look at the systems in the home anyway. If you notice any exposed wiring, rust, or corrosion, it might indicate a problem. Similarly, the plumbing system might not make sense to you, but you can identify if it’s fallen into disrepair. You could always take an expert with you for the walk-through of the entire homestead who will know precisely what they’re looking at. Don’t forget to have them check the garage doors as well.