Private mortgage insurance (PMI) can be an expensive requirement for your home loan, as it adds more to your monthly payment costs. This is a safeguard that your lender will take out to cover a portion of the amount you borrowed in case you default. Up Next: P.I.T.I.: Understanding The Parts Of Your Mortgage Payment […]
Home Walkthroughs: What To Look For When Viewing Listings
You love this home: It has all the features you are looking for and on the surface, it looks perfect. But don’t let that distract you. There is a lot of work that goes into finding the perfect home and that means managing your expectations. Here’s what you need to keep an eye out for when viewing listings with your Realtor:
Is There Appropriate Storage?
Despite minimalism design being in, we always have more belongings than we think we do. When walking through a listing, check out the closets and other storage areas to ensure that they are big enough. This is especially important in rooms like the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen where that extra storage is needed for blankets, clothes, towels and other necessities.
What Does The Home Smell Like?
This may sound like a strange thing to look out for when doing a walkthrough of a home, but it’s no less important. If something smells funky like mold, fish or urine, it’s a good indicator that there could be a moisture problem, an electrical problem or that the owner didn’t care for the home. While smells will eventually go away with some work, it’s up to you to decide if you want to spend the time and money to get rid of those persistent, deep-seated smells.
Is The Kitchen & Bathroom Functional?
We all love a good bathroom and kitchen but looks will only go so far if these rooms are not functional. Check to make sure that everything works and there are no water leaks, poor water pressure or other problems. If possible, flush the toilet to check for any potential system backups.
Investigate The Attic & Basement
Inspecting the attic and basement are a critical aspect of determining the health of the home. For basements especially, a well-maintained and dry basement is a good sign that they home has a solid foundation and is properly sealed against moisture. For the roof, leaks indicate a roofing problem that will need to be fixed.
If these areas have moisture, cracks, rot, or other problems it’s a good indication that you should get an estimate on how much it will take to repair and if the seller is willing to repair it themselves. If not, it may be best to move on.
Check Public Records
What is the history of the house? Go to the local courthouse and check the home’s public records for anything that could affect the purchase of the home and your security living there, like liens. A lien on the home means that the previous owner has unpaid taxes and the government has a right to the home until it is paid off. You could purchase the home with cash, but realize that you will take the place of the previous owner and you won’t be able to get title insurance.
Inspect HVAC Units & Other Large Appliances
It’s great when a home comes with the large appliances you need, but be sure to double check them to ensure that they work and don’t have problems like rust. Rust can be an indicator that the appliance was not cared for over the years and may need to be replaced.
Before purchasing a home, it is essential to get a home inspection. On top of these things to look out for, a home inspection will give you through details on the home and any problems that need to be fixed.