The sizzling hot seller’s real estate market is no more. It is still fairly strong. However, it is starting to balance out. Many buyers are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and are not having to offer way over list prices for homes. Depending on the price ranges, location and amenities, most houses are not selling the day they hit the market. Considering millennial home buyers are the driving force in today’s real estate market, those buyers are gaining a bit of an advantage. They can relax a little more when they are looking for houses. They are able to look at the houses more closely for issues that may concern them. If you are on the market to purchase a home, it is a good idea to consider the top big-ticket house concerns many buyers have.
Start at the Top
Let’s start at the top of the house with the roof and gutters. A roof replacement is expensive. You should take a look at as much of the roof as you can by stepping away from the house. If you see missing shingles, curling shingles or any other obvious damage, those are all red flags. Take a look at the gutters to see if they are all attached and not falling off. Be sure they don’t have leaves, sticks or other debris hanging out of them. Make sure the downspouts appear to be attached and working correctly. Sometimes it helps to look around the foundation of the house by the downspouts to be sure there isn’t any pooling water.
Exterior of the House
Walk around the house to look at the siding, windows, exterior doors, garage door and foundation. If the siding is vinyl or aluminum, for example, be sure there are no missing pieces. If the siding is wood or cedar, look for any signs of rotting. Take a good look around the windows to make sure they look well-sealed without any gaps or holes. You will also want to make sure there are no signs of leaking around the windows once you get inside the house. Do the same for the exterior doors. Make sure the garage door is in good condition. Test it to make sure it opens and closes without issues. When you are walking around the house, look at the foundation for any cracks or signs of damage.
Other Exterior Concerns
Next, take a look around the property. Make sure the driveway is in good condition and does not have many cracks. Be sure it is not sinking or crumbling. Inspect the front porch, patio or deck to make sure they won’t need too many repairs or replacement in the near future. Consider the condition of the landscaping. Look for any dead trees which can be expensive to have removed. If the landscaping has been neglected, it can be very costly to get it back into tip top shape.
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
The heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system can also be very expensive to have repaired or replaced. Ask the current homeowners how old the system is. According to many HVAC companies, an HVAC system’s lifespan is between ten to 25 years. The life expectancy depends on many factors including the type of system the home has, the type of insulation the home has, if the system has been regularly cleaned and checked and so on.
It is not easy to see electrical issues or possible fire hazards with your own eyes. Switch on all the lights and ceiling fans in the house to be sure they work. Many sure all the lightbulbs are in working order. If some do not work, there could be issues with the switches. Sometimes the issues can be more serious.
Take a walk around the house and look under all the cabinets for possible leaks or water stains. Test the faucets on all the sinks, bathtubs and showers. Look at the base of the commodes for signs of leaking. Do the same for the hot water heater. If you see any water stains on the ceilings or walls, ask the current homeowners what they are from.
Appliances are more expensive than ever, nowadays. Check out the refrigerator and freezer to be sure they are cold. Turn on the oven to make sure it heats up. Test all the burners on the stove. See if the dishwasher turns on. Do the same with the washer and dryer. If you have to replace many appliances, it can really add up.
Many of the big-ticket concerns buyers have can be inspected by professional home inspectors. If your home inspector has any concerns, he may refer you to a specialist for further inspection. A home inspection is a buyer’s cost. It is well worth it to save yourself from expensive bills after you close.