What to Look for at Showings
Most home buyers will examine a home's floor plan, upgrades, and location as part of their search process. But here's a few red flags to be on the look out for when at the showing:
1. Notice the flow of water. Water is often the cause of many problems in a home, especially in a heavy rain or downpour, it's important to notice where the flow of water goes. Water should always flow away from the house, and never sit or be directed towards any foundation. Although you may not have the benefit of viewing the home on a rainy day, take note if the home is on a down slope? Are there gutters, a french drain, or swale to divert water? Or, is there any areas of ponding where water sits?
2. What's the home's age? The age of a home should give you some indications of condition
or construction materials used. For example, if a home was built prior to 1978, it could contain lead based paint or asbestos. The EPA has some helpful guidelines on Lead Based Paint. and Asbestos. Handling the removal of these items has to be done by certified and licensed professionals.
3. Flood Zone. Since a normal homeowner's policy will not typically include flood insurance, take note if the property is in a high risk flood zone. If it is, you lender may require flood insurance at an additional cost. For more about flood insurance, go to: Flood Insurance Risk In Hawaii.
4. How old is the roof? Is it near the end of it's useful life? Roll-on or composite roofs have a shorter lifespan, but certain low-slope or flat roofs might necessitate this roof type. Tile roofs have a longer life span, but are there cracks or missing tiles? If it's wood shake, is the shake curling or splitting? Have there been any repairs made? And keep an eye out to see if the house has hurricane clips or gutters. These are nice added features to have.
5. Look up. Often times you can tell if drywall has been patched. Pay special attention to ceilings located directly under bathrooms and kitchens.
6. Look down. It's a good time to check out the foundation. Are the floors level? Do the doors bind? If it's on post and pier, are there any shims or slippage?
7. Panel Box & Electrical. Take a peek to see if the panel box looks old or was replaced. Just like any other component in the home, panel boxes don't last forever, they get old and need replacement. How about the electric--has it been updated?
Your home inspector will provide you a thorough inspection of the homes components, but knowing what to look out for from the get-go can save you time & effort and help you identify on a home that's right for you.
Questions? For more info, call Shaila at 808-741-7155 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Hawaii Homes & Estates LLC. License No: RB-20456.