According to the 2018 Realtors Confidence Index Survey, 33% of people buying a home are first time buyers.
If you are buying a home for the first time, there are a number of ways you may be caught unawares. Understandably, real estate agents and sellers do their best to make makes homes on the market look as attractive and appealing as possible. Because of this, even previous time buyers can be fooled with a well-presented home.
As a buyer, this can lead you to purchase a home that is not what it appears. If you buy a home that has any serious unseen issues, you may end up spending thousands of dollars in contractor’s fees to get things sorted out.
Fortunately, there are a number of tests that you can do to ensure that the home you are buying is as sound and well maintained as it looks.
Read on to find out what these are.
1. The Toilet Test
One of the steps to take when buying a house is to check the toilets. Simply go around the house and flush all the toilets. If the water flow is weak or uneven, this can be a good indication that there are underlying issues with the plumbing system.
This is an easy first test that you can do which won’t cost you a dime but might save you thousands down the line. According to water damage studies, the average cost of a plumbing system failure is over $5 092.
At the same time, while you are viewing, be sure to check for peeling paint or any other signs of water damage, as this too can be a costly fix.
2. Get a Home Inspection
One of the best ways to ensure that you are buying a house that does not have any invisible problems is to arrange for a home inspection. These are done by a qualified independent home inspector who will conduct a limited examination of the house.
You can organize this through your real estate agent. Although you as the buyer will have to carry the cost, this outlay could save you a lot of unforeseen expenses in the future.
3. Get An Asbestos Test
Another important test that you can commission is an asbestos survey. Asbestos surveys are inspections where a surveyor tests a house for materials that contain asbestos.
If you are purchasing an old house, and wish to make repairs and replacements, this is a particularly wise test to arrange, as asbestos can be costly to remove and dispose of.
4. Get an Appraisal
To make sure that you are paying the right price for a property, you can commission an appraisal. This appraises the property’s value so that you can determine what is the actual value of the home you want to buy.
5. Bring in a Structural engineer If You See Cracks that are wider than a quarter Inch
If a potential house you are looking at has a lot of cracks, consider bringing in a structural engineer if these are wider than a quarter inch. Wide cracks can indicate a compromised foundation or structure, both of which can lead to serious and expensive problems.
Now That You Know About These Tests… Buying a Home Just Got Safer
Buying a home is a big decision. One which can easily go south if you purchase a house that has serious problems which you don’t know about.
Fortunately, there are a number of tests you can conduct which will protect you from costly unforeseen issues.
To protect yourself from further unseen costs, check out my post on the hidden costs of buying a home.