Thursday, 29 August 2013 19:46

Things to Watch Out For When You Buy a Home

Don't get stuck with someone else's problems

It will probably only take you a few minutes to fall in love with the house you’re looking at. But don’t be dazzled immediately by the expert staging, excellent traffic flow, and desirable architectural features. You need to make sure that the house is in good shape, especially if it’s not a new one, by looking for the following signs.

Oddly-Placed Furniture or Rugs
Is there an otherwise empty wall with a large armoire three-quarters of the way down its length? Does a wooden floor have a small rug just on one end? If there’s no logical reason for an object’s placement, it may be hiding such defects as a hole in the wall or missing floorboards. Don’t be afraid to quell your suspicions by looking under the rug or behind the furniture to see what’s there.


Stains in the Ceiling
Brown spots or other discolorations on the ceiling typically indicate a water leak. Try to find out what’s on top of that spot. If it’s in the highest ceiling of the house, the cause may be a problem with the roof, which may cost thousands of dollars to fix. If it’s underneath a bathroom, the cause may be a leaky faucet or toilet, and fairly easy to fix.

Cracks in the Foundation
Foundations normally crack, which is why rebar is placed in concrete to keep it together. If the concrete foundation lies directly on the ground, which is fairly typical in dry, warm climates, then the cracks are most likely caused by soil movement. On the other hand, if the foundation is in earthquake country, it may be caused by seismic activity, which may require professional assessment and repair.

These problems should not necessarily prevent you from buying the house. They can also represent opportunities for bringing the asking price down or receiving credit for repairs. The best thing to do is to contact us if you discover such issues, or before you buy a home, so we can offer you advice.

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