More and more people are considering purchasing houses that are being sold due to foreclosure or at auction. Many of these homes may have had lapses in maintenance or other issues that home buyers must be wary of. Never purchase a home without hiring an inspector to look it over first. Here are some of the problems that you can be on the look out for during the viewing stage, which can cause a buyer significant and costly problems:
- Too many homes for sale on the street. Are any boarded up? Always keep an eye on the other houses near the one that you may purchase. They will tell you a lot about your possible future investment.
- Outdoor maintenance is often very telling of what is going on “underneath”. If the home you are looking at has straggly foundation plants or broken gutters, what else could be wrong?
- Foundation damage is always a major consideration. Check for proper grading and cracks bigger than 1/3 of an inch. Many times this can mean major structural issues.
- Strong odors outside and inside almost always indicate something “bad”. Investigate further.
- Be on the lookout for flickering lights and always check face plates for heat. This could mean faulty wiring.
- Windows with fog or water in between double-paned windows can signify trouble lurking.
- Stains and/or saggy walls usually indicate water damage, mildew or mold. An inspector must check for leaks and mold.
- Keep your eyes peeled during your tour for pests and rodents. Seeing evidence at this early stage is never a positive sign.