In many people’s lives, one of their ultimate goals is to buy a home and have a family. Homes comes in all stripes, though, and at times there are bigger problems than you might expect lurking right below the surface. When you first tour a home you may be distracted by the pretty fixtures and the awe of thinking about owning your first home. However, it’s very, very important that you either take a step back or bring a friend with you to help keep you down to earth so that you do not miss glaring issues that will haunt you down the line. A home inspection can only do you so much good–you need to take a look for yourself as well to spot issues that may not be worthy to note now but may cause big problems in the future.
The main thing that you need to look out for when touring a home is foundation issues! While you may seem hairline cracks, these are not as much of a problem. Every home settles, and these small cracks are usually expected and come with the territory. When you begin seeing bigger cracks around the foundation, on the ceilings, and in the walls of the main floors and basement or crawl space, there is a bigger problem at play. However, cracks are not the only thing that you should look out for when buying a home.
Other problems that indicate a foundation repair issue in your future are sloping floors, bowing walls, damp and wet in the basement or crawl space, doors and windows that stick, or a porch or steps which is not in line with the doorway that leads out on to it. All of these are signs that there are foundation problems, of varying scopes of severity, that you will eventually have to address. You may want to work something out with the current homeowner if you are really interested, but in most cases it isn’t a good idea to get in over your head with a home that needs lot of foundation repair immediately.
When you’re walking around the home, everything may look pristine and nice, but we urge you to look a little closer. Behind that strong scent, there may be other odors hiding that the realtor or homeowner does not want you to know about. Additionally, a fresh coat of paint may be covering mold, cracks, or other big issues. Even if the problem is not that big in its severity, definitely look to places like an unmowed yard or untrimmed hedges, a poorly put together fence or deck, or anything else in the home that adds up to what can be seen as poor maintenance. When the current homeowner has poor maintenance in these small areas, it’s hard to imagine that they will have had better maintenance in the bigger issues with their home. Keep this in mind when you are touring and look out for these small things.
Your inspector will likely see these issues when they inspect the home, but why waste time even considering a deal when there is a big mold or water damage problem. When you are touring a home, make sure to look underneath the sinks to see if there is water damage, look to wood floors that may have stains or splotches, and look to ceilings that could have been recently leaking and have been painted over. Additionally, if there is a basement make sure to check it out and see if it feels humid. Ask about if they get any water in the basement, even if they won’t tell you the truth. It’s important to get an idea of their attitude surrounding the topic so that you can gauge how severe the issue really is.
These are just a few home buying tips, but they are all important when you are buying your first home. Don’t be distracted by the thoughts of what the quaint cottage near the lake could be. Instead, bring a level headed friend who can bring you down to earth and see the water damage from flooding, the poorly constructed porch, or the mold issues. However, if you did get overwhelmed by the idea of your cute cottage, it’s okay! Foundation Systems of West Virginia is here to help. We are your foundation repair experts, and we have the experience to back it up. If you need foundation repair, give us a call today and we will get you back on track to having a safe and comfortable home.