Five Things to Look Through On Your Walk Through
In today’s booming sellers’ market, buyers oftentimes have one shot at looking at a house before offers are due. To complicate matters further, if the house is appealing to a large pool of potential buyers, then available showing time slots may be few and far between and open houses will be crowded. So how does you maximize the brief period of time you have to walk through a house before submitting an offer? Counting up bedrooms and bathrooms and envisioning the furniture layout is easy, but what are the hidden money pits that may turn you off from submitting an offer? Below are the top five things to take note of during your walk through:
1. House’s Exterior. New siding is expensive, as is a new paint job. Check out the exterior’s condition for an idea of if or how soon you will need to replace or repaint.
2. Heating and Cooling Systems. While air conditioning is not a must, if a house has baseboard heating, it will be more difficult to install it down the road. In addition, if the house has an oil heating system, the tank will need to be refilled every four to six weeks in the winter, and the cost of a tank depends on the fluctuating cost of oil. No matter the heating system, check out the condition of both the furnace and the hot water tank, as you will need both fully functioning on move-in day.
3. Basement. The basement can tell you a lot about a house. Be sure to look for water damage, check out the electric panel for odd wiring, and look up at the plumbing to see if you can make sense of it. Also keep an eye out of black mold.
4. Windows. Replacing a single window in a house can cost over $1,000 and depending on how many windows a house has, the cost can add up quickly. Check out the type of windows in the house, see if they open, and determine if and when you will need to replace them once moving in.
5. Sewer Line/Septic System. This hidden oh-so-important part of a house can cause a lot of angst and cost especially when toilets start backing up. Call the local plumbers/septic companies and find out when and how the house was last serviced so you have an idea if you will face plumbing issues after you start using the water.