3 Things to Look at When Viewing a House

If you are looking to buy a house, there is a lot to consider. After you have worked with a great Realtor in East Cobb to identify the properties which fulfill your preliminary standards for consideration, it is time to go on a viewing of the properties. Your Realtor is an invaluable asset in your house search.

A good idea to make the best use of their services is to be sure to ask the Realtor a few questions before viewing the house. The more information you have corroborated from as many separate sources as possible, the better your confidence will be in the information you have received and, ultimately, the more satisfying your end purchase will be.

What to Ask Your Real Estate AgentThe more interested you are in any particular property, the more questions you should ask your agent before you buy a house. The first question you ask should relate to obtaining information on the state or condition of the property.

You will want to ask about the current state of the electrics and wiring, interior lining, condition of the roof, the exterior paneled materials, and plumbing.

Any physical work that’s been done on the house will have records detailing the previous condition of the affected elements, as well as the rectification report.

Your Real Estate agent should have all of these records on-hand, or easily accessible. If they cannot produce this information, This documentation will also indicate the state of permitted work that has been done on the property, as opposed to that which was not specifically been given a permit for.

A great question to ask yourself is: “Why is the house for sale?” This should lead to you asking your agent the following: “Have there been other offers? If so, how many and how long has the property been on the market? If it is not selling and has been listed for a long time, there must be a reason for the stagnation.What is the reason?”

Again, any inability on the part of your Realtor to adequately answer these questions will indicate a discrepancy in your Realtor’s quality. Honesty is the only policy which is acceptable in real estate.

It is a good idea to find out about the rates of utilities on the properties in question. If the home has had a previous owner or occupant, your Realtor should have documentation of the previous utility rates and can tell you an accurate rough estimation of what you will end up paying every month.

Finally, be sure that you ask an open-ended question regarding anything else you should know or anything that will negatively affect the property’s value in the next decade or so.

Taking a Walkthrough with PurposeAfter you have obtained the preliminary information regarding a particular property, the house building guide and the area it is situated in, it is time to tour the actual house.

Now, you are going into the walkthrough with good information about the sale price, previous ownership, state of wear, and all the rest of the home’s back story. Note the natural light, strange odors and possible water damage. Also, during your first viewing of the property, there are several key features you will want to take note:

● RoofThe age of the home’s roof and its state of wear can likely be one of the most important features to take note of. Asking price aside, replacing the Roof of a house or repairing it for that matter is often the most costly expenditure. The materials used to construct the roof, along with the building contractors level of skill and craftsmanship, will determine the lifespan of the roof.

Cheaper roofs are shorter lived, and high-quality roofs are more costly. Shingle roofs, can last up to 50 years if they have been well installed. Conversely, shingled roofs that have been poorly constructed may only last 20 years or so. Looking for missing shingles and warped shingles is a good indicator of an older roof which will need replacing before too long.

● Heat and Air ConditioningAn old Air Conditioning unit can end up costing you thousands of dollars a year in extraneous costs and bills. The state of your home’s energy efficiency can also depend on its window seals, insulation, and air circulation. The cost to completely replace an air and heat system can be very expensive.

A new furnace alone can cost over $5,000 just for the unit! Unfortunately, heaters and AC units do not always have an indicator regarding the installation date of the system. A home inspector will likely be able to provide more conclusive information. However, it should be apparent if the air conditioner or heater is as old and in need of an update.

● Plumbing

During your walk through, an easy test to see whether or not the plumbing is operational on the most basic level is to check that every faucet, sink, and toilet works correctly and efficiently. It is very easy to look under the sinks to make sure no accessible pipes are leaking. If the water pressure seems too low, this could be indicative of older plumbing behind the walls or a leak somewhere that is unseen.

If the water from the sink is supposed to come from a city water purification plant or a natural water well, give the water a smell and a taste, and no matter what, take a little water sample with you. This is crucial. By the end of the consideration process, if you are still set on Buying the property, get a water test done with your sample.

Though water filters can remove many particulates in drinking water, it does not remove all contaminants such as lead and hormones. This is an extremely important issue for your family and, though the price of a property might seem like a great deal, nothing is worse in the long run than poisonous water. Many buyers will not bother with a water sample test; however, those who do are truly wise and preventative.