5 warnings to look for when touring a homePosted by William Stewart on Thursday, June 28th, 2012 at 9:47pm.
When touring a potential home to buy, sometimes the residence can give hints as to its general condition. These signs certainly do not show the complete health of the property, but they are indicators that further inspection may be necessary. As I show homes in the Greenville, SC area, here are a few things I typically look for on behalf of my real estate clients.
When thinking of age, we naturally consider the overall age of a home. But unlike the human body, a home does not age at an equal rate. A 50-year old home that has been maintained will most likely have great bones and plenty of charm and character...once you remove the shag carpets, that is. But if that 50-year old home still has its original roof, then you have problems!
Experts say your typical roof lasts 15-20 years. Of course, your mileage may vary but if you are considering a home with a 19-year-old roof, then chances are good you will need to replace it in the near future.
While a home's years plays the greatest role in any homebuyer's decision, other parts of a home to consider are the heating and cooling as well as the water heater.
Always check the age and condition of the parts of a home that age quicker. Here at Carolina Realty Associates, we do much of the investigation for you and generally have that info when we show a home.
2. Look up
Water stains on a ceiling are a sign that either there is a leak in the roof or there once was. In many cases, it could be a non-issue: sometimes a insignificant leak can occur, the homeowner fix it and then never bother to paint over the stain.
Regardless of whether it is a small leak or Greenville's very own version of Niagra Falls, a proper home inspection can further inlighten a potential home buyer.
All South Carolina home sellers must fill out a standardized form called the "Sellers Disclosure". It's a detailed document that prompts the seller to reveal the condition of the home as well as certain appliances and fixtures.
I always check the Sellers Disclosure before showing to ensure my clients are not walking into a potential problem home.
3. Not all it's cracked up to be
Cracks in the foundation or walls happen over time in many if not all homes. It may be a minor cosmetic issue or it could be a sign of something bigger.
Unless the crack in the foundation is big enough for a dog to walk through, I wouldn't discount the home just yet. But it is something to have checked out by a qualified professional home inspector before signing on the dotted line.
Old windows can be a pane. Sorry, that pun was just begging to be made. But seriously, an old window is a drafty window and the inefficiencies will be reflected in your utility bill. Replacing windows can be expensive and sometimes a home owner would rather sell it to you and let you do it.
In any older home it's always a good thing to get a report from the seller of the average utility costs. More information will help you be an informed buyer and further negate future surprises.
When our clients are interested in making an offer for a home, we try to get all that information for them so they can make the best decision possible.
5. Do you smell that?
If you smell mold or mildew, it's an indicator of water issues somewhere. Like everything on this list, it could be a non-issue. But it doesn't hurt to stop and smell the mold spores.
Buying a home is tricky and it takes experience to ensure you are getting the right deal. Let us be your advocate and help you! It costs you absolutely nothing to have us represent your interests: we offer our services free of charge for the home buyer.
William Stewart is a real estate agent specializing in the Greenville market as well as the neighborhoods of River Walk and Boxwood. He founded and successfully ran two marketing companies with nationally known corporations as clients and has over 12 years experience in the field. He currently serves as the marketing guru for Carolina Realty Associates as well as an expert on listing Greenville homes.
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