The San Diego Real Estate BLOG:
5 Things to Look For When Buying a Home
So you found a home that you love and are thinking of buying.
That’s great, and you should absolutely feel a strong, positive reaction to a home if you are considering buying it, but now it’s time to take a step back and look at the decision critically.
This week on the San Diego Real Estate BLOG, we give you our list of the Top 10 Things you should look out for when buying a home.
This should be the absolute first thing you look at when considering a home. The roof is the home’s first, and often best defense against 90% of what mother nature can throw at it.
You should obviously be looking for anything glaring like holes or sagging sections, but you should also consider the materials the roof is made of and what kind of condition those materials are in. If at all possible, find out when the roof was constructed or the last time it was replaced. Then there are the pluses and minuses to the material itself. Wood shingles may look pretty, especially when paired with complimentary wood siding, but it can lead to termites and is the least durable of any roofing material. Composition tile is relatively cheap and effective, but not necessarily the appealing aesthetic choice. Tile roofs are both gorgeous AND durable, but come with at hefty price tag.
Both interior and exterior paint can be used to hide a veritable laundry list of problems with a home. It is almost better if the home’s paint is a bit older as brand new paint may be a sign that the seller is trying to litterally cover something up.
Get up close and personal with the exterior paint job and look for any signs of recent patching or maybe even something that was missed when the job was done. Sure, maybe the seller just had the house painted to increase curb appea, but maybe they did it to cover the cracking stucco that gives away more serious issues lying beneath.
Inside, paint can be used to change the feel of a room, or it could be used to hide something like water or smoke damage. Again, get up close and personal, especially if you see an new paint. Look especially carefully at the walls below the windows which are a common site for water damage due to leaking windows.
Most realtors will do some “scentscaping” in order to make a home more attractive to potential buyers. But, like paint, an overabundance of scent can be a very clear red flag that something is up with the home.
Sure maybe the current owner just REALLY likes Glade candles. But it is also very possible the fresh baked chocolate chip cookies are being used to cover up the smell of a moldy/musty kitchen, or smelly pipes.
Use your common sense, but be sure to keep a nose out for this tactic.
Look under the sinks at the pipes. Look in the heater closet. Open every window every window and closet, and turn on every light switch.
If you are considering buying a home, you need to look under the proverbial hood. You can tell an amazing amount about a home by looking “behind the scenes” and in the dark corners.
Are the floors uneven? Are the windows hard to open in close. Much in the same was as the roof, and good foundation can make or literally break a home. While everything between the roof and foundation can be (fairly) easily replaced, the cost of fixing a foundation can be in the tens of thousands of dollars. Look for cracks near the base of the walls and around the windows. Anything more than about a quarter of an inch is cause for concern.
Have a Professional Home Inspection Done
While these are all great guide lines to rule out any real “lemons,” there are plenty of things that even experienced home buyers, real estate agents, and ever the sellers themselves simply cannot tell about a home without a thorough professional inspection.
DO NOT BUY A HOME WITHOUT HAVING A PROFESSIONAL INSPECTION FIRST.
Getting Professional Help
Like all things in life, there is no real substitute for experience, and when making a purchase as important as a home, it helps to have a trusted advisor in your corner.
We are here to help. Our buyers agents Svetlana and Dianna have over 25 years of combined real estate experience and would be happy to help you find YOUR San Diego Dream Home. Just give them call or shoot them an email today, and you will be one step closer to making your dream a reality.
While you are here, you might want to check out our series of posts on Buying a Home
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