3. Structural damages: This is a big one. Water spots or discoloration on the ceilings and walls could be somewhat minor, or they could mean major repair bills down the road. Termites are small creatures that can lead to big structural problems. Cracks and gaps in walls could also point to very serious structural issues. Check the ceiling, exterior walls, and flooring, especially if there's a basement. There's only so much you can observe yourself. Always have a home inspection completed before you close on the home.
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4. Roof: Not everyone checks out the roof on a home, but everybody should. Look for holes, curling or buckling shingles, or sagging in the roofing materials. Find out the last time the roof was replaced – anything older than 15 years could be a time bomb. Roof repair is costly, and if neglected, it can lead to huge costs for a homeowner. A new roof could cost upwards of $10,000 (or more), and if the home you're looking at needs a roof now, that might break your home-buying budget.
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5. Major mechanicals: While it's good to know the refrigerator and oven are up-to-date, the more important appliances like the water heater, furnace, air conditioning unit, and electrical system are critical features to investigate before you buy a home. These can be high-cost items to maintain, repair, or replace, in addition to helping you to feel comfortable in your new home. Check the age and condition of this equipment to the best of your ability, and make sure your home inspection covers these always-important features. If one (or more) doesn't work properly, you'll need to account for the potential repair or replacement in your offer.
All you'll need to do now is find some homes to tour. A great way to get started is to contact your local Coldwell Banker Heritage Realtors. A good, knowledgeable Realtor can help you navigate through this exciting process. Happy house hunting!