Sunday, 24 March 2019
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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

Problem Areas to Check before Deciding to Buy a Home

Written by Posted On Thursday, 14 March 2019 15:14

A home is one of the most expensive purchases most people will make in their lifetime. As such, it is always a good idea to have a home professionally inspected before you sign on the dotted line, regardless of whether your lender requires it or not. Getting an inspection is not only costly, however, but it could put you all the way back to square one if major issues turn up in the inspection. Before you even put an offer in on a home, here are 3 trouble areas to look at in a home to quickly assess the condition of the home.

Electrical Box

You may not know anything about home wiring, but you probably know enough to determine if the electrical system is old and out-of-date or has been fixed a number of times by an amateur. What you are looking for is a modern-looking system with all of the wires neatly attached and clearly labeled. Your home inspector will give the electrical system a more thorough going-over, but just eyeballing it during a showing can go a long way towards determining the actual condition of the home.


You certainly don’t want to get up on the roof itself, but you can stand across the street or at a distance and do a visual inspection. Again, what you are looking for is missing shingles or clear indentations in the roof that would indicate some type of damage. The roof is essentially a home’s primary line of defense against the elements, so if the roof has issues, you can almost be assured the structure of the home will as well.


Water damage can be one of the most destructive types of damage that can happen to a home and the basement will offer the most telltale clues of it. The first thing you want to do when you walk into a basement is take note of the smell. If there is even a slight odor of mildew that is not a good sign. Once you have been in the basement for a while, you will no longer notice any smell unless it is overpowering, so be sure and take notice as soon as you enter. Also look for any stains or signs of water damage. Again, your inspector will do a far more thorough job, but you can save yourself a lot of time and effort by doing a thorough inspection of the basement. If the basement has been waterproofed, that is a definitely plus.

When looking at homes, it is important not to be blinded by how charming it looks under a fresh coat of paint. Paint can cover a lot of damage, so be sure and look at some of the less attractive areas of the home. That is where you are more likely to find telltale signs that a home has not been cared for properly.

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