The House Beyond The Wow

Dated: 10/12/2017

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When you go house-hunting for that perfect home, it’s easy to get all caught up in the moment and fall in love. You can find yourself impressed with the remodeled kitchen, spacious backyard, high ceilings, and open floorplan, and may even want to make an offer rirhgt then and there.

But it’s important to take a step back and take the time to evaluate the perhaps less-exciting details. These often overlooked details may ultimately lead to significant, costly issues. Here’s what to look for and how to get beyond the WOWs:

  • Windows: Does every window open? For emergency reasons, every room needs a window that can be opened. Do they close and lock securely? Is the glass intact? Is there a tight thermal seal (which is important to regulate temperature)?

  • Flooring: Look for cracks, stains, holes, and warping. Ask if there’s another layer of flooring under carpet, tile, or laminate. Is the floor level? If not, it might be an indication of structural problems.

  • Roof: Roof replacements are costly. Find out when the roof was last addressed, and whether it was a patch or a replacement. Look for signs of damage from the street.

  • Neighborhood: Look beyond the obvious into the details: Is local traffic a nightmare in rush hour? Is the home near shopping, schools, church, or recreational facilities?

  • Parking: If the house doesn’t have a garage, will the driveway accommodate your vehicles? Is there good on-street visitors’ parking?

  • Smell:  The smell of a house could indicate old water damage, mold, or even electrical issues.

Even after you’ve checked the details, make your offer contingent on a home inspection. A reliable home inspector can dig deeper into the details. Isn’t your peace of mind worth it?  Even a home inspection that reveals issues does not necessarily mean that you should not purchase the house, but it may help you budget for future repairs or negotiate repairs into the contract so that you can have issues that may affect your safety taken care of immediately.

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