Have you ever had somebody tell you, “Don’t be so nosey!”? Well, when it comes to house hunting it’s your job to be nosey (up to a point!). This is going to be your new home, so you mustmake sure that it fits your needs. Here are a few areas to really snoop around in:
· Check out the bathrooms. Flush the toilets, turn on faucets and showers. This might sound strange but it’s a good way to check the water pressure in the home. Nobody likes a low-pressure shower, but more importantly low water pressure could indicate a plumbing issue. (Keep in mind that some houses may be vacant and winterized so you may not be able to do this.)
· Open the closets. Don’t pick through the owner’s belongings but really look at the space inside the closet. Is it big enough to hold your belongings?
· Scope out the basement and attic spaces. Keep an eye out for cracks in the foundation, mold, or other signs of water damage in the basement. Take a flashlight with you and peek into the attic. Look for animal droppings and signs of mold. If the owner has their belongings stacked up against any walls ask them to pull them away from the walls if you are going back for a second showing.
· Does it look as though there have been some additions made to the house since it was built? If so you may want to investigate whether proper permits were pulled and make sure the work was done properly and up to code. Your real estate agent can help you with these questions as well.
· Are there any property easements you should be made aware of? An easement basically gives someone else the right to use your property (usually the city or state) even though they don’t own it. If your dream is to put in a pool in the backyard or build a pole barn, you want to make sure the property has no easements in those areas before you buy!
· Finally, try to meet the neighbors. They can give you a general feel for the neighborhood and tips about the community. Also, you will be living next door to these people. Are they pleasant to talk to or are they rude and don’t want to be bothered? Do they keep their house and yard maintained or is it an eye sore? Good neighbors are invaluable. They make living more pleasant and can even help keep property values up.
Being nosey, snooping, investigating, whatever you want to call it, it’s the thing to do when you’re in the market to buy a new home!