Buying your home is arguably the biggest and most expensive purchase that you will ever make in your lifetime. This is why you need to invest a lot of your valuable time and effort into finding that perfect home for you. Before you finally make your mind to complete the purchase, a home inspection is usually necessary to ensure that you don’t end up with a bad investment. While this activity may be one of the most exciting in your home-buying process, it can also be a bit challenging. Usually, most homes that tend to look great in photos have very dark secrets that might not be uncovered immediately.

Additionally, you can come across a home that is fully furnished and opt to check if the contents of the house are insured with one of the best home warranty companies in that area. Unless there are special provisions that have been made in the policy, you will probably have to insure the property as you can’t rely on the seller’s policy to protect you. To avoid all these hassles, most home buyers end up hiring a real estate agent that will work on their behalf. But what if, for one reason or the other, one is unable to have a great real estate agent?

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To help you minimize the chances of future surprises, here are the things to look for when viewing a home.

1. Roof Age

Home roof replacement is without a doubt the most expensive home renovation projects that you can ever do. This is why it is of utmost important to check the roofing of a house before making the decision to buy it. Generally, most roofs have a life expectancy of between 15 to 20 years depending on the type. Additionally, metal roofs will tend to last even longer when compared to shingle roofs. To check the roof’s age, look out for “key-ways” on the roof and if you notice that they are spaced quite far apart, it simply means that the roof has not been replaced recently. You can also look out for loose, curled, or missing shingles.

2. Cracks in the walls

The presence of cracks in the walls of a building simply means that there is some movement. Cracks usually indicate the presence of some major structural problems that need serious attention. Also, be very wary if you notice any fresh paint on a wall. For example, if you notice that the home has not undergone renovation for a while, but there is fresh paint in a room’s ceiling, it means there is something being covered up.

3. Electrical and piping

Plumbing and electrical wiring are two areas that are hard to evaluate using your naked eyes. This is why it is advisable to bring an expert with you. When checking the plumbing, make sure that all the sinks, toilets, and faucets have no leaks. Run all the taps to check the pressure of the water and ask if the pipes are insulated. Also, ensure that the water pressure that is coming from the faucets is acceptable. For the electrical part, confirm how the electrical boxes have been sorted and if there is a lot of exposed wiring. Also, take a good look at the electrical panel and be very worried if the system has not been replaced for a very long time.

4. Window Condition

One of the most frustrating things in a home is a window that is tough to open or can’t stay open. Therefore, ensure that you check all the windows and ensure that they are all functioning properly. Also, check the condition of the paint that has been applied around and inside the windows. Since many people tend to replace windows with low-quality ones, you should look out for this as it drives the home heating costs very high.

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5. Building violations and permits

If you are feeling that everything is good up to now, you should now check if there is any permit issues or open violations the home may be burdened with. First, ensure that all the work that has been done in the building was filed with your local building department. Afterward, check the fire department as well as the historic agencies and to ensure that the house comes out clear. Lastly, check if there has been any complaint filed by a neighbor, which may signal the presence of a problem.
Home viewing can be a very exciting but daunting process requiring much time. Most homes will come with hidden surprises that will be hard to spot at first sight. However, being a little vigilant and knowing what to look out for can save you from falling into a very expensive trap. With these guidelines, we are hopeful that you will be able to get the most out of your home viewing process and also build a positive rapport with your seller. Just remember that this will be the biggest purchases in your entire life and the seller will never blame you for being too inquisitive.

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