When looking for a new home or property, we often pay more attention to its location and aesthetics. However, you should also consider the structural integrity of the building.
Most times, you will need the help of a professional to evaluate the “health” of the building. But what if you can’t afford to hire an inspector? How do you know if the property has been managed well?
SIGNS OF A WELL-CARED-FOR BUILDING
Surely, property managers and owners can conceal major issues with fresh paint or some minor upgrades, but they can’t totally hide major repair problems.
Here are the five most important components of a house or building that can help you decide whether it’s worth investing in it.
A WELL-MAINTAINED ROOF
The roof is often the most susceptible to wear and tear as it is directly exposed to different elements.
Well-maintained roofs can last thirty years or more, however, poor-quality shingles and tiles can significantly reduce their lifespan. You should be able to see from the ground if there are broken or missing shingles.
Make sure to ask the seller how old the roof is, and inspect the gutters and drainage systems if they are in good condition. A well-maintained gutter system helps avoid water damage issues especially in ceilings, which can be difficult to detect in plain sight. If the roof isn’t old enough but still needs some repairs, ask the seller to lower the price so you can save money for repair work.
Don’t forget to check the sidings too. Like roofs, sidings are also prone to damage. You should be able to quickly assess the condition of the sidings by simply looking at them. Things like missing or rusty nails, cracking caulk or crooked joints, fading or missing paint, rotting, mold, and water stains are major issues to consider.
ABSENCE OF WATERMARKS AND MOLD
Mold is every homeowner’s toughest enemy. It is a fungus that comes in different colors, such as white, green, and black.
If there is water damage or leaks on the roof, the property most likely has an issue with mold, even if you can’t see it. You should also check for water puddles near the exterior walls of the house and look around for watermarks, which are a major sign of leaks.
Some other common places where mold is likely to take hold are around leaking pipes, windows, and basements. If you notice an unpleasant odor inside the house or building, it’s another tell-tale sign of mold problems. Ask the seller if the property has mold or water damage problems and make sure to add a mold-related contingency to your offer if you really are interested to buy the property.
An easy way to check if the previous owner of the house has taken good care of the property is by checking the bathrooms. A bathroom should be renovated every four or five years. Check to see if the fixtures are still in good condition, such as the shower, sink, toilet, and bathtub.
WELL MAINTAINED INTERIOR
It takes more than a quick freshening up to reveal how well-cared-for a building is. You can’t mask stains on tiles or floors, dirt stuck on walls, and a poorly organized interior space.
Look for a home or property that boasts a clean and well-maintained interior. This means the walls are freshly painted, and the floors have no stains and cracks, so do the countertops and tables.
A well-cared-for building will also have highly maintained furniture. Even if the furniture pieces are quite old, they are still very functional and have no sign of major damage or cracks. With such an interior, you won’t need to shell out more money on repair or renovations. In most cases, all you need is to add stylish home decor to make your new home more like “you.”
FULLY FUNCTIONING HVAC SYSTEM
Look for a home that has proper ventilation. Poor airflow is a common sign that the existing HVAC system is no longer functioning properly. This means that the previous owner hasn’t taken much effort to clean air filters or have their air conditioners or heating systems regularly checked by technicians.
A well-functioning HVAC system also suggests the absence of water leaks which can quickly damage a home and even lead to serious structural issues. Air conditioners that make low-level noise as they start up and shut down are okay, but any rattling or buzzing noise is a red flag.
Buying a home or property is no easy feat. You should take time assessing the building to make sure it’s free from costly damage and is worth your investment. Remember the pointers we discussed above when inspecting a property.
If you really like the property but you uncovered some issues, talk to the seller and negotiate the price so you can allocate budget for repairs.
Guest Contributor: Leila Amber