What to Look Out for During a Private Showing
When house hunting, one of the most exciting parts of your search is getting to see prospective homes in person and deciding what property best suits your lifestyle! Though many home buyers often get reeled in by professional staging of a home and how great a house looks on the surface, that they can overlook some important factors that aren’t as plainly obvious.
- Masked Odor: One red flag you should look out for during a private showing is what you’re nose detects when you enter the home. Take a tour throughout the home and see if you can sniff out any indication of mold or mildew (particularly in the basement). Strong and foul pet odors may also be sign for alarm, as these smells can remain in the home even long after the previous owner has moved out. If you walk into a showing and notice the home is being enforced with strong smelling candles, sprays, diffusers or even baked goods, this could be a ploy to mask underlying and less pleasant odors and may be indication to keep searching!
- Walls & Water Damage: As mentioned above, one indication of water damage may be a musty smell in the home, but you should also be looking out for bubbling, water staining or cracks in the wall’s foundation. Sometimes a new paint job isn’t always a good thing, as this could be covering up larger problems. That’s why you should be taking extra measures to inspect all potential areas of concern. Don’t just look at the walls but touch them also…if you notice moisture this may be a sign of mold growth. Additionally, look for rust and staining on any exposed piping in the basement, as this could indicate leakage. On the outside of the home, if you notice any standing water, this is a sign of a poor drainage system.
- Flooring: When touring a home, check the floors for warping floorboards, buckling baseboards, or uneven tiling. This could be a sign of poor-quality contracting, a not so professional DIY job, water damage, rotting wood or any number of other problems. If you notice a large area rug, don’t be afraid to lift up the corner and inspect what is underneath, as this could be a tactic to hide an unsightly problem.
- Windows: Another thing you should do during a showing is inspecting the windows. Look to see if the frames appear misaligned or whether or not the windows slide up with ease. Are the latches in working order? Is there any moisture between the pains? If anything appears askew, this may be indication the windows will need to be replaced in the near future.
- Nearby Water: While many of us dream about living in a picturesque home on the water, there’s sometimes more burden involved than to be expected. Nearby water can often lead to flooding in the winter months as ice & snow accumulates and melts, the same can be said for heavy rain fall. Be cautious of properties too close to a creak or river, as flooding can lead to water amassing near the property or even leaking into your home.
- Plumbing & Electrical: While it may be hard to spot issues with the plumbing and electrical simply by observation, there are a few things you can look out for and inquire about. Check the electrical box for any exposed wiring and don’t be afraid to ask questions about when the unit was last replaced or if anything regarding the installation appears faulty. Take note of any suspicious sounds or smells in the electrical room. Is there a loud noise coming from the furnace? Do you notice any leaking near the hot water heater? Is there a faint odor of gas? These are all important factors to make note of. When checking the plumbing, you should flush the toilets and run the faucets. If you notice a lack of water pressure or any discoloring in the water, this could indicate an underlying issue with the plumbing that could wind up be a costly fix in the future.
Now that you’re aware of some important factors to be on the lookout for, you can enter every showing with confidence, knowing you’re fully prepared to tackle your house hunt with ease! Need more guidance to help you find the right home? I’m here to help!