What is the roof like? Before you even step into the house, take a good look at the roof. Does it look old or new? Are there any visible issues? The typical roof will last between 15 and 20 years and costs an average of $6,600 to replace.
Is it structurally sound? Some of the most expensive problems you can run into with homes are structure and foundation issues. Keep your eye out for cracks. Small cracks are okay and not uncommon; big cracks are a huge warning sign. If you see major cracks it’s a good idea to get a surveyor out to take a look. If there is serious bowing consider talking to a structural engineer.
Is there enough storage space? When you’re on the hunt for granite, stainless steel and a gas fireplace things like storage can get overlooked. Take a careful look at all the closets and cabinets and try to image what you will be putting in them. Is there enough space for all your clothes? What about mops, brooms and vacuums? Is there a pantry and will it be able to handle Costco runs?
What’s going on under the sink? Take the time to examine the pipes. Check for leaks, water damage and mold. Don’t just use your eyes. What does is smell like under the sink and in the bathrooms? If it smells like mildew there may be an issue.
How’s the water pressure? While you’re checking out the plumbing you might as well check the pressure. Turn on the taps and check the pressure, performance and drainage. If the pressure isn’t very good, check to see if there is a water flow restrictor in place. These can be removed for better pressure. This may seem like a small thing but you’ll be taking a lot of showers in your new home so it’s good to know what kind of pressure you’ll be getting.
What’s the temperature? Does the house feel hot or cold? Is one room hotter or colder than the others? If there’s a problem with the heating or cooling system in the house it could cost you a lot of money to replace. Or if the home is poorly insulated it could mean a huge electricity bill each month.
Which way does the house face? Consider the home’s position in relationship with the sun. Will the home be bright and warm or frustratingly dark? Will the sun be jolting you awake in the morning? Consider the outside of the home as well. Will your flowerbeds be in the sun or in shadow?
How’s the drainage? Check the external drains. Are they in the right places? Are they accessible? Functional? Think about heavy rain as well as sprinkler and hose runoff. Where will the water go? Improper drainage can cause sever structural problems and can affect your ability to add improvements like patios and landscaping.