There are seven crucial things you need to inspect before buying a house that can make or break a deal, whether you’re purchasing as an investment or as a residence. Since most inspectors don’t pay attention to these seven things, you are the one that will most likely have to do this. You may not have heard of these things before, but these seven inspection tips are crucial to your home purchasing decision.
Tip #1: Inspect on a Rainy Day
Try to schedule your inspection of the property on a rainy day. It reveals where the water flows and that is such an important part of owning a house. I had an inspection on a rainy day and when I arrived at the property, I noticed water flowing from the street, down towards the front lawn of the house where the septic bed and tile was. The water was getting trapped there and the system couldn’t function properly. To fix it was going to cost $15,000 and it killed the deal.
Tip #2: Flood Zone Proximity
You’ll know whether the house is in a flood zone, but even if you’re not in a flood zone, you still want to know where the property sits in relation to a flood zone. The reason is because houses near flood zones flood too. The FEMA map is a great tool to help you with this inspection step.
Tip #3: Inspect HVAC Ducts for Mold
Have either your inspector or yourself, inspect the ducting and the air handling unit for mold. If the unit isn’t correctly sized for the load, it can breed mold and that can be a big problem. You can inspect the ducks by simply removing the vent and feel around for condensation and mold. It’s important to inspect the system because it can function extremely well and yet still breed mold and that can produce very bad air quality that makes people sick. Unfortunately, the only solution if mold is present, is to replace the whole system.
Tip #4: Sinkhole Proximity
This may not pertain to your area, but Florida is one of the most sinkhole prone areas. I would say that knowing where your house is in relation to a previously reported sinkhole is something to consider.
Tip #5: Interview the Neighbors
This may seem like an odd step to add. However, interviewing the neighbours can be such an effective way of gleaning critical information. Ask them questions like, “What are the most frustrating things about living here?” and “If you could own any house in this neighborhood, what would it be and why?”. While not every neighbor will be completely honest with you, if you chat with enough of them, you’ll discover things about owning a property in that location you would never know otherwise.
Tip #6: Review the Entire Sales History
Reviewing the complete sales history of a property can be very educational. If a home that has been bought and sold a significant number of times, it could mean that it’s been a problem for its previous owners. You can use PropStream to investigate the history of the property. I use it myself because it is the best research tool available.
Tip #7: Vary Your Visits to the Property
Vary your visits to the property so that you can see it at different times of day. This enables you to see it with different weather patterns and on different days of the week. You never know, the wind might be blowing a different direction and you discover that a trash heap is nearby and when the wind is from the west you get a very unpleasant odor! When you only visit the same day of the week and the same time of the day, you might miss crucial information about what it’s like to live there.