Main Content

Nine issues to watch out for when shopping for a home

When buying a home, it’s important to look out for existing issues within the property. We compiled a list of things you should look out for so you can get them repaired before the problem worsens. A lot of these are due to wear-and-tear that builds up over time, but even if you’re purchasing a relatively new house, it won’t hurt to watch out for these issues.

  1. Roof problems

    Check the house for broken or missing flashings, and brittle or curled shingles. Also inspect the ceilings for water stains that may indicate a leaky roof. Keep an eye out for clogged or bent gutters, and make sure that drainage is channeled away from the house or its foundation.

    It’s important to ensure the integrity of the roof because it’s what protects your house from the elements. Furthermore, damages caused by a compromised roof can be costly.

  2. Poor grading

    A home that is poorly graded can lead to a variety of problems such as water leaking in the basement. The foundation can shift over time as well. If water accumulates around the foundation, it might cause mold and rot. Some signs of foundation movement are floors that aren’t leveled, uneven gaps at the top of doors when closed, and misaligned windows.

  3. Faulty plumbing

    Leaky pipes, dripping faucets, low water pressure, and running toilets are a huge no-no in any home. Fortunately, dripping faucets and running toilets are relatively easier to spot and fix. Low water pressure might be caused clogged pipes and shower heads, as well as mineral deposits that have built up over time.

    Hidden leaks can be harder to spot until it starts seeping into the drywall or flooring. If you can’t find the cause of the problem inside the house, check outside—tree roots that have grown over the years can also damage a home’s plumbing.

  4. Defective HVAC system

    Inspect the house for issues with or related to the HVAC system. Look out for cracks in the water tank or heat exchanger and keep an ear out for loud motors that struggle to cool your home. Check the age and the maintenance schedule of the property’s HVAC system. Replacing an HVAC system is costly, but if you regularly maintain and service it, you’ll save yourself from the stress and the costs in the long run.

  5. Faulty wiring

    If you have flickering lights that continue to persist even after you replace the bulb, it might be due to loose wiring. The older the home, the more likely it is to have faulty electricals. Some older homes might not be able to handle all the electrical load required in modern homes that have a lot of appliances. If the circuit breakers trip often, it might need replacing. If an outlet has low voltage, there might be a loose connection.

  6. Poor pest control

    Infestations can be hard to control and resolve. Check outside and inside the home for signs of previous infestations and find out if the property was regularly treated for pest control. Once you start living in the home, make sure that all areas are properly sprayed and treated during pest control visits.

  7. Defective insulation

    Poor insulation can make the home feel hotter than usual during the day and unbearably cold during the winter. There might also be vapor condensation if there is poor ventilation. If you can’t figure out whether your home is well-insulated, invite a specialist.

  8. Poor caulking

    If water seeps through the doors and windows when it rains, it might be a sign of badly done or worn-out caulking. Luckily, caulking is easy to replace. Get to the root of it before it causes considerable damage to your walls or flooring.

  9. Rotten wood

    If the house you’re buying is quite old and has a lot of wooden structural elements, inspect thoroughly for rotten beams, panels, and handrails. This might be worsened by leaks, humidity, and mold, posing a safety issue. Wooden decks should also be inspected and prepared for when winter comes.

Need more home buying tips and real estate advice? Check out our blog for more articles. Our agents at RE/MAX Direct offer design, marketing, and sales solutions for real estate buyers, sellers, developers, and investors. If you need assistance with buying a home in Chester, PA, get in touch with us at RE/MAX Direct today by calling 610.430.8100 or send an email to remaxdirectwc(at)gmail(dotted)com. You can also drop us a message here to get started.