When it comes to buying a pre-existing home, you want to look beyond the superficial. Things like paint, carpeting, and even window coverings can be changed. Unfortunately, many people pay more attention to the superficial when shopping for a home, which means they may end up with costly repairs that they weren't anticipating. Now that you're looking for a pre-existing home, take the time to look below and above the surface. Here are three areas of the home that you should pay close attention to when shopping for your next home.
Look at the Wiring
When it comes to the electrical system in a pre-existing home, you want to look beyond the lighting fixtures. You want to look at the wiring. You won't be able to look inside the walls, but there are still some steps you can take to check out the wiring. First, turn the lights on. Once you have the lights on, turn the garbage disposal on. If the lights flicker, there may be a short in the wiring that will need to be addressed. The flickering could be a sign that the electrical system is being overloaded. Next, look at the electrical outlets. If you can see signs of burn or scorch marks on the outlets, the wiring is overheating during use.
Look Down at the Foundation
Problems with the foundation can pose serious problems for a home. In fact, a damaged foundation can undermine the structural integrity of a home. To make sure you're not purchasing a home with foundation problems, take a few minutes to conduct a safety inspection of your own. As you enter a room, open and close the door. Each door should open and close easily. You'll also want to look at the walls around the door frames. Cracks in the walls can form due to pressure on the foundation. Finally, carefully walk through the house and feel the floor under your feet. You'll want to look and feel for uneven ridges in the foundation. If you identify any of the problems described above, the home may have foundation damage.
Look Up at the Roofing
When looking at pre-existing homes, it's important that you look closely at the roof. Walk around the outside of the home, looking up at the roof. Look for missing or damaged shingles and mismatched shingle colors—a sign that an area has been recently repaired. Once you've looked at the roof, take the inspection into the house. Walk through each room of the house and look at the ceilings. Watch for signs of water damage, such as bubbling under the paint or water stains on the ceiling. If you notice these problems, the roof may need to be replaced.
If you're in the market for a pre-existing home, use the signs described here to identify potential problems. Talk to your realtor about scheduling a professional home inspection to avoid purchasing a home that will require costly repairs.