• Jennifer Stenbak

What to Look For in a New Home

Shopping for a new home is an exciting experience, and open houses are a necessary part of the process. It is easy to get distracted by staged furniture and sleek kitchen appliances, but an open house is all about getting a good, hard look at the property you’re purchasing.

Ignore the top-of-the-line espresso machine and the patterned wing back chairs. Instead, take a good look at the walls, the windows, and the floor.

3 Things to Look for When Buying a New Home

1. Foundation issues. The first thing you should check is the foundation. Most homes will have a few hairline cracks, but large cracks can be a sign of a bad foundation. Check for sticking doors or windows, visible cracks around window frames, and uneven floors. These can all be signs of foundation problems.

2. Mold. When touring the kitchen and the bathroom, keep an eye out for mold. Take a peek under the sink and check the pipes. Also, check the caulking around faucets and tubs and look at the ceiling. Even small black or grey spots can be the signs of a much larger issue.

3. Water damage. Even if there’s no water around the property, keep an eye out for water damage. A musty odor and water lines on the walls and ceiling can be the result of flooding. Review any exposed pipes, such as ones in the basement or laundry room, and check for rust, water stains, or leaking.

Ignoring these three things when going to an open house can mean very costly repairs if you purchase a house with any of these problems, so it’s imperative to be observant in the beginning. It may feel awkward to check walls, ceilings, and under cabinets, but in the long run, you will be glad you did.

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