Before you buy a home, make sure to check if the property has been well maintained so you can avoid hidden problems and costs down the road. To find out how well the previous owners took care of their home, here’s a list of things you may want to check out at the open house:
- Fire safety: The home should have working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Some newer homes may have sprinklers or some other fire suppression system.
- Roofing: Find out what the roof is made of (wood, asphalt, tar and gravel, steel, and so on). The type of material used will hold a clue to the lifespan of the roof. A 10-year-old steel roof has about 40 years of life left, but an asphalt roof may be halfway through its life.
- Windows: The windows are well sealed and preferably double paned.
- Foundation: The exterior foundation has no cracks.
- Wiring: Ask whether the home has aluminum wiring or if the wiring has been modified or upgraded in any way. Confirm that the house is serviced by at least 100-amp power and assess the number and distribution of outlets to ensure the home can power your lifestyle.
- Plumbing: Make sure plumbing is not leaking and that water pressure is adequate.
- Exterior: The yard(s) should be in good condition. Rotten wood siding, decaying stucco, or cracked vinyl may indicate deeper issues with the building envelope.
- Bathrooms: The area around the tub or shower has no signs of water damage or mold.
- Appliances: Major appliances like the fridge, stove, washer and dryer, and dishwasher (if included), should be in good working order.