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Is This Your Situation: Looking for a Way to Test a Property's Condition

 

Although putting a professional inspection contingency in the contract will help protect you from surprises, doing your own inspection before making an offer could save you considerable time and money.

How can you tell if a property is worth buying? Here's how to look at the big picture—for structural concerns, major repairs that are needed, appliances that have to be replaced.

Crawl the Walls

Start out by going to the right when you enter the house, and keep following the wall. You will check each wall that way. Do the same on every floor. Look for settlement cracks, separating joints, defective plaster or other signs of stress or damage. Check wallpapered areas for crinkling or gathering, which may mean walls are settling or shifting.

Look for Leaks

Loose or wrinkled wallpaper could indicate a water leak somewhere. Look for water stains on the ceiling and walls. You may have to look closely—bring a flashlight—in case they have been painted over or repaired.

Spend time in the bathrooms and in every area with pipes, checking for leaks and drips. Also, run the shower and basin, then flush the toilet to check water pressure. Look for cracked or loose tiles and missing grout or mildew stains on the walls or floor, which could indicate a behind-the-wall leak.

Plug Into the Electrical System

Check every electric socket or outlet. Use a plug-in night light and turn every switch on and off. Look for extension cords and multiple plugs in sockets, which could mean insufficient or poorly placed sockets. Also, check every appliance to be sure it works well.

Focus on Condition

Open and close every door and window. Look and listen for squeaking, sticking, or a tendency to close on their own. Check for evidence of shifting or settling around the front stoop, chimney and walks, and places where the driveway and the fence meet the house. Also, check the deck for sturdiness and look for rotted wood. Go into the garage and check the walls, floors and doors—inside and out.

Pay Attention to Pests

Look for termites and ants. Especially look along the foundation, around doors and entry points of wiring and pipes. Check the grading of the yard to be sure water runs away from the house.

You can and should insist on a written report detailing what the problems are with the house, how important each one is. You may have to consult a contractor to estimate repair costs on any problems found.

If everything looks good and you decide to purchase the house, be sure to require a home inspection by a professional inspector before settlement. You will want a professional who will get into the crawl space, climb onto the roof and poke around with a flashlight in the attic. Your professional should also carefully inspect the major systems—electrical, gas, plumbing and heating/air conditioning.

To make sure a home is in tip-top shape before making an offer, give us a call today for more information about how you can spot red flags.

 
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Sorelle Realty
Sorelle Realty
Happy Clients in VA | DC | MD | FL
703.495.7500 | 571.436.7551
Anne@SorelleRealty.com | Avisha@SorelleRealty.com
6820 Elm St. | McLean, VA 22101-6008
1680 Meridian Ave. #200 | Miami Beach, FL 33139
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Our firm provides the information in this e-newsletter for general guidance only, and does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, investment advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal, or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation. Tax articles in this e-newsletter are not intended to be used, and cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding accuracy-related penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. The information is provided "as is," with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.
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