Thankfully, you’re not alone in determining the conditions of prospective homes.
Home inspections become crucial here, as they locate red flags. A qualified home inspector is trained to spot structural and system problems that layman won’t notice. They can advise on potential repairs. They’ll check the reliability of your heating and ventilation system, and they also can spot foundation problems your untrained eye may skip.
Your home inspector’s expertise can also provide you leverage when buying a home. You can use the defects described in an inspection report as an effective negotiating tool to get a better price with the seller.
The lender’s appraiser may also have some thoughts. While they are tasked with ensuring the lender is making a good investment, they may also spot some issues. A new rule gives buyers the right to see the appraisal, which could note issues with the house.
Look Closely at the Neighborhood When Buying a Home
You are buying into a neighborhood as well as into a home. Check red flags in the area, too. Abandoned and boarded-up buildings or excessive amounts of garbage and graffiti are obviously not good signs.
Is there local industry in the form of factories or business parks? Do neighbors park on the streets or in garages? Are cars and debris filling adjacent yards? In other words, do people take pride and care in their community? And are there signs of stability and growth?
Of course, you may also see the good signs: senior citizens walking, children playing, clean school yards, parks, convenient shopping, places of worship and a public library. You know what you want in a neighborhood. Make sure you see it.
Resolving Repair Issues When Buying a Home
If you do find red flags, they may not tank the deal, as long as you bring them up. A good REALTOR® can help you with this.
Major issues—like plumbing, electrical wiring problems or structural concerns—could push a motivated seller to agree to fix the problems or lower the price of the home. Because if one buyers spots them, another one might, too.
If the neighborhood, the home layout and the price all seem right, it might be worth trying to push the seller to mitigate those flags. And once they’ve finished, you’ll have the home you always dreamed about right in front of you.