Buying a home for the first time is an extremely exciting and somewhat daunting process. There are many things to be aware of and consider before you sign on that dotted line. Here is a list of 12 things first time homebuyers need to inspect in their new home, and may also want to look into:
1 – The Foundation
A proper foundation is very important to the structural integrity of your home, as it holds up everything. It is absolutely necessary that any problems with this are identified and repaired by a professional before buying the home, or you could have big issues down the road.
2 – The Roof
The roof is what protects your house from the elements, so obviously it is very important. However, unless you are a contractor yourself or know what you are looking for, this is something it’s best to bring in experts to inspect and assess for problems and necessary repairs.
3 – The Bathroom
The one room most used in the home, often by multiple people at once is the bathroom. It is important to make sure everything works properly and there are no leaks or other issues that could potentially cause problems.
4 – Plumbing
Just like with the bathroom, make sure all of the plumbing in your new house works properly and there are no leaks. Check all the faucets, toilets, and water lines to make sure everything is up to par. When going through a home feel free to turn on the shower, bathroom fan and flush the toilet if you are trying to identify any issues.
5 – Electrical
All of the electrical systems in a home need to be functional and work as they should for safety’s sake. Check light fixtures, outlets, switches, and make sure the main breaker box isn’t overloaded. Any issues should be brought to the attention of an electrician.
6 – The Kitchen
A home with a functional and nice-looking kitchen is important for resale value, not to mention the ease of cooking every day. Make sure everything works as it should, from the faucets and water lines to appliances such as stoves, ovens, microwaves, dishwashers, etc.
Other things to make note of in the kitchen will be the condition of the cabinetry and countertops.
7 – The Basement & Attic
These are the areas of most concern for many first-time homebuyers. Foundation issues are easier to spot in these places, as are potential leaks and other problems with the roofing structure above them. Make sure to bring anyone you hire down into these areas if possible, so they can properly inspect and assess for problems.
8 – The Furnace /Air Conditioning Unit
The furnace is what keeps your home warm in the winter, and it needs to be functional for that to happen. Have a professional come out and inspect so you know it works, as well as any gas lines/piping which could potentially cause issues if not done properly.
If the house has central air, the same would be said for the air conditioning unit. This will need to be inspected by a professional as well, just to make sure it works. It is one of the most important systems in the home so would definitely need looking at.
9 – The Garage
It may seem unimportant, but garages are very helpful for storage and also much safer if your car is kept in it. This needs to have all the necessary repairs before you buy a home, otherwise, issues will be more expensive and persistent later on.
10 – Exterior & Yard
When you buy a new house, it isn’t just the inside that matters, but the outside and surrounding yard and structures too. Check for any major cracks in sidewalks or curbs to make sure there aren’t foundation issues below them, look closely around the roof edges and the attic for any leaks or other signs of problems. Make sure everything works as it should, including all exterior lights, doors, gates, garage door openers, etc.
11 – The Pool (if applicable)
If there is a pool at the property being inspected, it’s best to bring in professionals who can check and assess the pool itself and any major appliances around it such as filters and heaters.
This is the same situation for a hot tub or spa that may be on the property. If you are not knowledgeable on these items, it may be worth having someone who is brought in and test them to ensure they are in good working condition.
12 – The Window and Doors
Last but not least, check for any cracks or damage in windows and doors. Make sure all are fully functional, lock properly, seal correctly so air/water cannot enter the home through these spots. Windows covered in condensation are typically an indicator that moisture is making its way into the home. If this is the case, any water damage inside due to leaks or other causes can lead to a major expense down the road.
Buying a home is a huge investment, so it’s important to inspect every nook and cranny before signing on the dotted line. Also, you need to know about pre-inspection and full inspection. The 12 items we’ve listed are some of the most important for first-time homebuyers, but this list is by no means exhaustive. If you’re unsure about anything or have any questions, be sure to consult with professionals who can help guide you through the process.