Like so many other Americans you want to buy a home. You have a realtor you like and are ready to shop. Buying a house is huge investment that can have series long term consequences, so you want to make sure your house isn’t in need of repairs. Ideally you would hire a home inspector, but times are tough and maybe you can’t afford one. That being said, there are some area you can inspect yourself.
The foundation is the last place you want to have issues with. Be sure to walk around the outside of the house and check where the wall meets the ground. Keep an eye open for any small cracks and fractures that may be in the walls. They could indicate a need for foundation repairs. Another good idea is to check the tile floors inside and see if they have shifted or cracked, it could mean the floor is shifting. Finally, test the windows and doors as well. If they don’t easily slide open then it may mean something is wrong.
Foundation problems can stem from unlikely sources. Deep root trees that are planted to close to the house can get into the foundation and cause serious problems. Extreme heat and cold or even the soil type can create foundation cracks as well. Often time previous owners fail to water the foundation properly which leads to shifts in the soil and foundations.
Plumbing is another area that requires a good inspection. Because so much of the plumbing is hidden, it can be difficult to inspect but there are a few things you can do. Start by checking under the sinks and in the cabinet’s. If you see mold growing then it is likely due to a leak somewhere. Look at the caulking around the sink to see if there are any cracks. Finally, do a search around the outside of the house to see if there are any unusually moist or wet spots. If water is building up somewhere it could mean an underground leak.
Yes, it is hot and dusty but the attic is a great way to see into the houses history. Here is why. If there is a leak and damage to a wall a good contractor can cover it up and fix it. An attic isn’t so easy to conceal. » Read more: Three Keys to Inspecting a New Home