Buying a home is likely the largest purchase you will ever make. In order to make the process as smooth as possible, make sure you ask yourself these questions before you sign on the dotted line.
- Are there any visible water stains on the floors, walls, or ceiling? This could be an indication of a leaky roof, malfunctioning plumbing fixtures, or leaking pipes. There may also be mould lurking inside the walls or under the carpeting if previous water damage was not properly repaired. You may even want to take a flashlight and shine it on walls, floors, and ceilings to check for staining that has been covered up by paint.
- Is the basement wet? Even if you don’t see any signs of water damage, if the basement has a sump pump, that is a good indication that flooding is a possibility. Make sure the pump is functional and does its job properly. Otherwise, it may need to be replaced.
- Could the pipes become frozen? If you’re looking for a home in a colder climate, find out if the pipes run through areas that are not well-heated, like attics, crawlspaces, garages, or exterior walls. Extra insulation or more drastic measures may be required to prevent these pipes from freezing in the winter.
- Are the plumbing fixtures in good shape? Flush the toilets and run the sinks to make sure things are working properly. Make sure the toilets are firmly bolted to the floor and the faucets aren’t dripping. Check under and around sinks, bathtubs, and showers for signs of water damage.
- Are appliances in working order? This is especially important for appliances that use water, such as dishwashers, washing machines, garbage disposals, ice makers, etc. Check for signs of leaks and inspect the hoses and connections on these devices to make sure they are in working order. Should the hoses be replaced?
- How old is the hot water heater? If it’s about 10 years old or older, it will likely need to be replaced soon.
- Are the gutters & downspouts clogged? When rainwater isn’t able to flow through gutters and downspouts because of a buildup of leaves, dirt, or other debris, it can damage the home’s siding and/or leak into the home through the roof or basement.
- Is the property properly graded? If the ground slopes toward the foundation of the house and there isn’t a properly functioning exterior draining system installed, that’s just a disaster waiting to happen after the next rainstorm. Water should be able to drain safely away from the house to avoid water making its way into the basement.
- Are the roof, siding, and windows in good condition? If the roof shingles are warped or curling, or if you see signs of rotting, condensation, or peeling paint on roof overhangs, windowsills, or wood siding, that could be an indication of excess moisture in these areas.
- Has the home been well-maintained? Don’t forget about the little details, such as the tile grout, the caulking around the bathtub, indoor & outdoor light fixtures, etc.
To make sure your new investment is adequately protected, contact your broker at Noble Insurance for more information about homeowners insurance. We can help you make the process smooth & simple!