House hunting can be a real puzzle to solve. With so many moving parts and things to consider, it can be challenging and time-consuming to find the place to call home. And while many buyers spend significant time looking at simple aesthetics, smart house hunters know there are a lot more details to look into. Here, we’ve gathered the eight vital things you need to look for when you’re house hunting.
House Hunting? 8 Things to Watch Out For
1. Age and Quality of the Roof
Roofing is quite often overlooked but it’s one of the most important things to check when house hunting.
Pay attention to the external lines of the roof and see if they’re straight and free from deflections, as this is often a sign of its age. Check the roof gutters for corrosions, leaks, or rust to see if they need to be cleaned or replaced.
Likewise, make sure all roof downpipes are releasing water properly and look for signs of excess water around the floor bases. If it’s overflowing, this can indicate that the current soak well is not the right size or needs to be cleaned out.
Whether the seller repairs it or you get credit to fix it yourself, be sure to address roofing issues before you move in as it could be more costly in the long run.
2. Plumbing Conditions
Regardless if you’re buying a brand new house or eyeing a pre-loved space, make sure major systems like plumbing are functioning well.
Look closely into the ceiling and walls and check for water lines, as this can indicate poor plumbing conditions like flooding from a leak or a busted pipe. Similarly, if you get a stuffy odor when inside, it can indicate internal water damage or standing water on the property.
Don’t forget to also check the piping in the basements, laundry rooms, toilet/bathrooms, and even the garage. Hidden and dark spaces like these tend to have unseen leaks, rusts, and stains from plumbing damages.
3. Proximity to Important Locations
Location is another important thing to consider when house hunting as you’ll want to fit not only your budget, but also your needs, lifestyle, and personal goals.
If you work within the city, explore living closer to downtown to minimize rush-hour drives. If you like being active and outdoors, go for a home where you can walk to parks, restaurants, and shops. If you like the serene community, checkout houses in the suburbs or a bit of a distance from the city. If you have kids, look into the local schools and the district ratings to assess their education programs.
Other things you’ll want to consider would be the distance to essential facilities like highways, hospitals, police station, supermarkets, and the like.
4. Scent and Ventilation
Don’t be swayed by the good scents during your viewing - whether from wax warmers, candles, or even baked goods. Though it’s not always the case, the sellers might be trying to mask an unpleasant odor within.
Take mindful sniffs as you enter every room. Pay attention to the odor in the cabinets, drawers, ceilings, floors and walls, and see if there are signs of mildew or smoke. You can also whiff around the property to check if there are smells coming from outside that need to be addressed.
Similarly, it’s essential to check for proper ventilation. Take time to examine the window frames to see if they’re accessible, secured, and properly installed. Again, if it needs to be replaced, be sure to have this done prior to moving in.
Also look for condensation spots, forming bubbles, or peeling paints around the doors, windows, and vents. Insufficient interior ventilation could indicate moisture in the structure which could then lead to mold or worse, health issues.
5. Foundation Issues
Of course, you’ll want a solid foundation for your new house, so look closely into its details.What may appear as a small issue now could cost you a lot of time, money, and energy if left unattended.
Open all cabinets and drawers to see if there are signs of mildew, mold, or anything moist. Any damp smell could indicate water leaks or unwanted moisture in your foundation.
Don’t forget to look up to check for deflections and defects in the ceiling sheets. Even small cracks or what appears to be stains should be looked into before closing the deal.
Inspect the tiles and floors of all rooms to see if there are gaps or openings that need to be fixed. Try rolling a marble on the floor to check if any part is uneven.
Lastly, be sure to look for cracks in the walls. Those bigger than 2.0mm should be inspected by a realtor or building inspector immediately. Similarly, internal wall with cracks can indicate improper application of wall plastering. So, be sure to have this addressed before installing any wall fixing to avoid widening the cracks.
6. Molds and Stains
Mold can look harmless, but if left uncleaned, these black or gray spots can indicate serious issues in the property and can negatively affect your health.
To detect mold, be sure to open all possible openings – from bathroom and sink cabinets to water pipes and drains. Check for the patches on faucets, shower areas, tubs, and where it can be left damp.
Likewise, if you see even minor stains on any surface, take this up with with the seller. This will allow them to investigate on what’s causing it and make the needed repairs.
7. Safety of the Community
While the neighborhood might look attractive and picturesque, it’s important to know how safe and secure it really is.
Drive around to see if there are nearby water resources that could be pose as a threat during the rainy season. Since the weather has become unpredictable, it’s essential to consider possible risks, like chances of flooding, in your area.
Also, ask around about the accidents and crime rate in the neighborhood. Knowing these things will help you gauge whether or not this is a good place to settle in.
8. Future Enhancements
Regardless if it’s brand-new or remodeled, you’ll want your house to feel like you home. This means you might also want to consider your long-term plans when house hunting.
For example, if you plan to start or expand your family in the future, be sure your place will have an extra room – whether it’s for the new baby or your guests. Similarly, if you’re downsizing, you might look into places that fit you and your partner but can still accommodate your children when they visit.
Here are other things you might consider:
- Will there be an outdoor space for kids to safely play in, house pets, or room to grow a garden?
- Will you be able to add some personality and style to the home design?
- Will there be space for your hobbies – a home office, a big kitchen area, or an extra room-turned-gym?
Whether you’re a first-time buyer or looking to move to a new community, house hunting can get confusing and overwhelming. With so many things to consider, you’ll need an experienced real estate agent to guide you all throughout the journey. And that’s how The Brendan King Group can help.
Ready to find your dream home? We’re here for you! Contact us today, tell us what you’re looking for, and we’ll help you make it happen.