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Deerwood Realty and Friends Podcast

You’re ready to buy a home and you have set an appointment to see your first house with your real estate agent…What are you looking for?

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1.  How does the house sit on the lot?  Is the lot level, or is there a section that slopes directly towards your house.  Level lots are considered more valuable generally.

2.  What is going to need maintenance outside during your homewnership?  If the front of the house has wood window sills, those will need to be painted at a minimum.  If the house has a beautiful wood deck, at some point you are going to have to replace the boards. 

3.  What does the roof look like?  Are the shingles curled?  Are there large swaths of tar or caulking at the flashing that could indicate a current or previous leak.

4.  If the house has brick or a brick chimney, take a look.  Are there any settlement cracks?  Will the house need tuckpointing at some point?  What is the condition of the chimney?  Does it look decent?

5.  Take a look at the air conditioner.  What decade does it look like it came from?  Will replacement be necessary soon?


3.  When you walk inside the house for the first time, how does it smell?  IF there is an overpowering smell of air fresheners, there’s probably something being hidden.  IF you smell mold or a mustiness, that’s probably coming from the basement, and you should take a very close look when you go there.

4.  What does the flooring look like?  Will any need to be replaced on move in?  Hardwood floors that are deeply scratched will need attention.  Carpet that is well past it’s prime probably needs to be attended to.  Similarly, is the carpet new…builder grade?  Flooring is relatively expensive in a home…best to know what you might be getting into.  Additionally, how clean are the floors?  This should give you some clue as to the way the previous owners kept up with their property maintenance.  It’s not that a dirty floor means that the seller doesn’t care, it just means that they are not meticulous.

5.  What does the ceiling look like?  You know, it’s not intuitive, and most people I show houses to never look at the ceiling.  It’s a shame..if there are spots, there could be indications of leaks.  Is the ceiling a popcorn ceiling?  That might have asbestos when it is removed.  IF the ceiling is beat up, you have to wonder why…the house has had a hard life.

6.  When you look at the kitchen, how are the finishes?  You can have very expensive materials, and if they are installed poorly, that is going to effect the value of the home and give you some idea about how the previous owners cared for the home.

7.  When you go to the bathrooms, ALWAYS look in the bathtub…don’t just take it for granted that the tub is in good shape or the tiles don’t need to be re-grouted.

8.  Take a look at the walls.  How beat up are they?  Is there a fresh coat of paint? Don’t worry about the color…that can be changed…but if it has wallpaper or other coverings, removal could take time in addition to more time to prep the walls for paint.

9.  Take a look at the windows.  Are they new or are they original to the house?  If they are newer, are the panes clear?  Also, check EVERY window…sometimes you see a new window at the front of the house, and that’s the only one that was replaced…everything else being from when the home was built.

10.  Look at the systems in the basement.  When was the water heater replaced?  In the last decade?  What does the furnace look like? 

11.  Look for where the washer and dryer would go if there isn’t one.  Note the plug style for the dryer if it is electric, or if there is gas running to the area.  I’ve been to many remodeled homes where there is no provision for a washer and dryer and the buyer gets stuck with the bill to run wire/gas.

12.  Finally, make a note of what you saw in the pictures and what you didn’t see in the pictures.  What is being hidden?  Why would that be?  If the house looks like an accurate representation of the pictures, that is great.  If not, you have to wonder why.  What is being hidden?

Source:  Me


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