It's crazy to think that we are expected to make a decision in a 20-minute walk-thru when making one of the biggest purchases of our life. When the market is hot, this is what we do though. There are a few When you find a house you are interested in looking at, do your homework first. How long as it been on the market? When was the last time it was sold and for how much? I have made a list of items you should be looking for...
1. When you drive up, look at the roof. Is it in need of repair? How old is it? Look at gutters and downspouts.
2. Check out the land. Does water run off? Is the property in a floodplain? Is the yard fenced? How about landscaping? Is the driveway shared?
3. Make sure you check out the plumbing. Has it been updated? Have there been any recent leaks or burst pipes? You might even consider having the lines scoped.
4. Are you looking at a home with a basement? What kind of foundation is it; poured, cinder block, wood? Are there cracks in the walls? Does it look like there has been any leaking/seepage, standing water anywhere, wet sheetrock? How does the foundation look? Do the walls look straight? Are the walls pushing outward or inward? Sometimes this can be fixed with bracing, but definitely something a certified basement system company should inspect. How does the basement smell? Look for mold too!!!
5. Is the electrical updated? Updating electrical is a huge future expense.
6. What kind of heat? Is it gas forced air? Oil? Electric? Depending on what type of heat will determine your heat and/or electrical bill for the month.
7. Look at the windows. Are they old? Updated? Well maintained? Installing new windows is another future costly expense.
8. Location of home. Location, location, location is usually at the top of everyone's list.
9. Make a list...what are deal breakers and what can you live with? Remember some improvements are just cosmetic such as painting, maybe putting in new countertops, etc. But, make sure you know beforehand what you can and cannot live with.