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5 Ways To Avoid Costly Surprises When Buying A Home

Updated: Jan 12

Are you a first-time homebuyer? As always, when people are new at things, there are many trials and errors along the way. On the other hand, wouldn't it be nice if you can avoid some of those errors, most especially if they are costly? In this article, we give you 5 simple tips on how you can avoid costly surprises when buying your first home.

1) Heating and Cooling

Check the HVAC system to ensure there are no heating and cooling problems. Locate the fuse box and examine the breakers. See if any of them are flipped in a different direction from the others. The air-conditioning unit must have a different breaker and from the furnace. Test the breakers by turning them off then wait for about ten (10) seconds before turning them back on. Notify immediately if you notice any blown switches that need to be replaced. Also, don't forget to check the filters, the thermostat, and other things that may seem odd.

2) Plumbing and Power

Check for water leaks and electrical issues. Most water leaks are easy to spot, but sometimes you have to take a closer look. Water stains are the biggest giveaways when it comes to determining water leaks. Other signs include swollen walls or floors, damp or moldy smells, and of course, sounds of water dropping or gushing, even when the faucets are turned off.

Electrical problems are not only dangerous. They could also cost you higher electric bills in the long run. Report damaged wirings and other electrical issues immediately before it hurts anyone (or your pocket).

3) Structural Damages

Structural problems come in different forms. They could be uneven gaps on windows and doors, sagging ceilings, cracks, bulges, or even crumbling concrete. There are many types of structural damages that people should look into before moving into a home. It is important to address them right away before they evolve into more serious problems. Remember, safety should be everyone's top priority.

4) Rot or Decay

Common signs of rot or decay in a property include, but are not limited to: damp smell, darkened and/or cracked timber, spots or any signs of fungus growth, molds, and brittleness. It would be best to bring gloves, masks, or any type of protection before touching areas of the home with these signs, especially if you have underlying health conditions that may be affected.

5) Roofing Issues

If you're inspecting a home on a warm, summer day, you may not be able to tell right away if there are leaks. Conversely, there are signs that you can watch out for to help you determine possible roof problems. Look for stains, holes, or cracks which are often signs of water leaks. See if there are missing shingles, rusted gutters, excess cement, or signs of multiple patching.

Buying your first home should bring you joy and not a headache. A home inspection is a crucial step in order to prevent future worries on your investment. Having an expert look into your home is always necessary because they know how to assess various structural and other problems that most people don't know how to check or address.

Here's a quick infographic that you can keep handy on some of the things that you need to inspect before buying a home:

Image Source: Keeping Current Matters, American Society of Home Inspectors, NAR, and

Save at least $5,000 to $10,000 worth of repairs by working with the right people before getting into the closing table. Make sure you connect with a trusted Realtor® who works hand-in-hand with an experienced home inspector when buying a home.

If you are looking for a real estate team to help you with the homebuying process step-by-step, or you're a real estate agent who wants to know more about the ins and outs of the real estate industry so you can help your clients better, reach out to us so we can help you!

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Disclaimer: Views and information provided in this post are for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Before taking any action based upon such information, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals. The use or reliance to any information contained on this site or mobile application is solely at your own risk.

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