Before you put in an offer on the property you have been looking at, it’s important to sweat over the small stuff, those little issues that may seem insignificant. Yes, you can probably deal with some of them over time, but do you really want to add further expense to your already dwindling finances? We are guessing not. In this article, we will give you a checklist of some of those things you need to look out for when scrutinising over whether the house is worth buying. Noticing the little things may make a big difference to your ultimate decision.
- Rely on your ears as your eyes. There may be sounds and noises that alert you to the overall state of the property. Do the stairs creak? Are there strange sounds coming from the pipes? Are there scratching sounds behind the walls? Insignificant sounds? Not when there may be structural issues, plumbing faults, and rodent infestations to consider.
- Follow your nose, as there may be smells in the property that you need to be alerted to. Notice a musty odour? There may be damp in the house, though the seller may have covered up the warning signs with wallpaper or a picture frame. Smell something fishy? It may be the remnants of the owner’s lunch, or it could well be a telltale sign that there is something wrong with the electrics. Don’t overlook these smells, follow your nose, and have an honest discussion with the seller about them.
- Check for any cracks in the walls, as this may be symptomatic of ongoing structural damage. Admittedly, older houses will show signs of wear and tear, but a home inspector will let you know if there is anything to worry about from the cracks you have discovered.
- Run your fingers down the windows, and check for signs of condensation. Now, the room may not have been ventilated for a while, so there may be no need to worry. However, if you do see and feel traces of water, there may be issues with the sealing, or the home may not be properly insulated. These are repairs you can do yourself, but you may not want to fork out the expense of buying new windows if the issue is larger than it at first appears.
- Look at your phone, and check the signal bar. This is something many home buyers overlook, but if you intend to ditch a landline in favour of your smartphone, you are going to need a good signal if you ever expect to use it. The same applies to your mobile internet service. Test your phone around the house, as you may find a strong signal in certain rooms, or in worst-case scenarios, minimal or no signal at all, anywhere in the property.
- Beware the seller, as they may be using a range of tricks to cover up problem areas. If you notice the smell of baked cookies, they may simply be trying to make the place look homely, but then again they may be trying to cover up the smells we mentioned earlier. If the seller looks shifty when you’re discussing the house with them, ask yourself one simple question: what aren’t they telling you? Be vigilant, and don’t put the seller’s behaviour down to just being nervous or unsure. You don’t want to buy the house and realise you have ended up with a money pit.
Buying a house is one of the most expensive purchases you will make in your life, so going against the usual advice you are given, you do need to sweat the small stuff. Follow the advice we have given, and if there are telltale warning signs, and your gut instinct tells you ‘no,’ then it may be time to carry on your house search elsewhere.