4 Things To Look At When Touring Homes

Dated: 01/03/2018

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The kitchen is dreamy and the roof deck is amazing. You love the neighborhood, and the layout is perfect for your lifestyle. As a first time homebuyer, you’ve got your eye on the things that are important to you and the life that you want to live in your new home. But what else should you be looking for in a home?

Look past the gorgeous staging furniture, and here are a few key things to look for when touring homes for the first time.

1. The ceiling

Look for discoloration and circular shapes that might be signs of water damage. Also look for signs of cracking.

2. Under the sinks

Run the water and see if the faucet is leaking. If the home is occupied and under the sink is so crowded with things that you can’t tell if it’s leaking – it’s is a good sign!

3. In the basement

Particularly, go to the corners and look for signs of water. If the home is occupied, are the a lot of things store in the basement? This is a good sign, especially if there are boxes sitting on the floor! Is there a humidifier running? Does it smell funky? Chances are, the basement gets at least a little water – especially if it’s in an area that’s close to the river like Southeast Philly or Fishtown. The question is, how much water and how is it being taken care of? A humidifier could be a good sign because it shows that the water is likely being taken care of.

4. The electric panel

You’re a first time homebuyer, not a electrician, so why even look at the electric panel? Well, if the panel looks like a hot mess there’s a pretty good chance that the electric running throughout the house is also a hot mess (ie. very costly to fix). Check to make sure that the panel is facing the right way – an upside down panel is a warning sign of iffy installation.

So if your “dream home” has water damage on the ceiling, leaking sinks, a wet basement, and an electric panel that has wires coming from all angles – it’s over, right? Not necessarily. Leave it to a home inspector to tell you what the issue really is, but these are all details to PREPARE you for what an inspector might say. In a market where you have negotiation room, you may be able to negotiate to have the sellers fix a few or all of the issues.

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