Home Buying Tips - What to do on the 2nd Visit
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You’ve narrowed your home selection down to just a few now you need to take a closer look with a second visit to the property. Just remember the objective of your follow up showings is to really compare all of your final home options to see which one is really the best buy for you and/or your family.
There are things I like to point out to my clients when we walk the home together – especially if they are first time buyers or new to the area. Since our construction is different than other parts of the country I like to point out aspects of our construction and where there might be issues.
The Outside Assessment:
1. When you arrive walk up to the house take a moment to assess the exterior. Does it look well maintained or worn? Do you see wear spots in the paint or siding?
2. Look under the eaves is the wood split or stained – this could be a sign of roof issues.
3. Is the stucco in good condition or are there chips and holes? The same can apply to the siding if that's how your home is constructed.
4. Look at the landscaping – do the bushes appear to be dead? If so there might be problems with the watering system if several plants are dead.
5. Walk around the side of the home and look for the HVAC condenser pipes – are they leaking? If so from the top or the bottom? If it’s from the top you might have some HVAC issues or the HVAC system needs to be serviced to blow out the condensation lines (separate video on this topic - watch now)
6. Look along the foundation do you see large cracks or big chunks missing in the foundation wall? Some cracking the inspector will probably say is normal settling but if there are large cracks this could be a larger problem that might need to be addressed.
The Inside Assessment:
1. Step inside, what's the initial impression - does it appear to be well maintained and clean?
2. Much like the outside you want to assess the paint on the walls and trim. Is it heavily knicked or scratched? Will you need to repaint a substantial portion of the home?
3. Look at the air vents are they clean or coated with dust and grime? This is a sign if the homeowner maintains the home. I also like to look at the baseboards to see if they are clean or dirty. If they are clean this is a person who does mico cleaning not just handling obvious dirt and clutter.
4. Look at the flooring – look for cracks in the tile, some are normal settlement cracks but if you see big ones there could be foundation issues. If you see one that runs the length of the floor this too could be a foundation issue. Some cracks can be nothing but some can be a sign of a larger issue and something you'll want to have a separate inspection on as it falls outside the scope of a general inspection. The general inspector will probably note if it requires a look by a specialist.
5. Check all of the kitchen appliances – do they work? Some inspectors don’t check appliances. Note the model / serial# of the refrigerator and take a picture. If you plan to ask for the washer and dryer take pictures of those too.
6. Look at the windows – do they open? Is the glass clear or foggy? If they are foggy you probably have blown seals which means a repair down the line. A general inspector will note these in his/her report.
7. Step outside – what’s around. Are there any empty lots around that may take your view away at some point? Do your neighbors take good care of their home or is it an eye sore?
8. Look at the ceiling in each room - do you see signs of staining? If so they may have had a roof leak at some point or there could be a current leak. I always recommend a separate roof inspection. A general inspector is not a roofer and everyone wants to know that the roof they are buying is in good condition.
9. I also recommend taking a drive-by at night. How does the neighborhood look at night? Does the home have landscape lighting – is it working?
Just remember there is no such thing as a perfect home – truly! No matter how beautiful there will be things that you’ll probably need to change or repair because It’s not a new house. Even with new construction, there can be issues – don’t be fooled.
Working with an agent who has been through numerous inspections can be very helpful as we tend to see things clients miss because we do this all day every day.
I hope you found these tips helpful. If you have additional questions please don’t hesitate to reach out, my contact information is above.
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