13 Essential Things To Look For When Viewing A House

by Emily RicheyApril 27, 2017

13 Essential Things to Look for When Viewing a House (According to the Experts)

Finding a house you want to buy can be an exciting time. The house looks great in the photos, it feels right when you visit, it seems like this is ‘the one.’ But many houses hide darker secrets that might not be immediately obvious. How can you be sure there are no nasty surprises in store?

It’s easy to get carried away. You view the house in person and you can already picture where your things may go. The neighborhood seems great, and the price is right. But is it too good to be true?

There’s no need to worry. Some houses may come with hidden surprises, but a little vigilance before you buy can prevent you from falling into an expensive trap. For example, buying expert Arlene Reckson suggests checking how many other houses on the street are up for sale. If there are many, you might want to check to see if there are any local issues causing people to move away.

Inside the house, you should keep an eye out for moisture problems or leaks. We recommend having a moisture meter on hand, so if you spot soft-looking wood you can take a reading to assess how bad it may be. Ideally, you want a reading that comes in at under 16%, but if it’s under 28% there’s still a chance to fix, and you’ll be glad you raised the issue with the sellers before exchanging contracts!

We’ve teamed up with Arlene to produce this easy to reference visual guide of what to look for while you visit prospective houses. There’s also a handy downloadable home inspection checklist that you’ll want to take along and use as you go.

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of buying a new home. The expert tips provided will ensure you’re empowered with the tools and information to find a home that’s safe, sound, and ready to move in!

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About The Author
Emily Richey
Emily is a Homes.com Content Marketing Assistant and a new home owner! When not coordinating content for Homes, she stays busy cooking in her new kitchen, reading interior design magazines, running with her pup and husband, exploring new places, and entertaining.
4 Comments
  • July 3, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    I find home buyers are well prepared, razor focused. Here in CA, home buyers have their phones fired up with better detail than us REALTORS want to admit. What the buyer doesn’t want is to spend and fix. Sellers don’t get it, and agents are not honest with their clients about functional obsolescence. For instance, this past weekend brought out buyers needing larger homes for their growing family. Redone kitchen with mismatched appliances, confusing tile back splashes, and yawn (aka boring) counters, got thumbs down. Modern tacky makes the buyer think instead of falling in love. Carpeting is done, period. Young buyers don’t want their parents living style anything, and never once have I ever been asked about anything on the list.
    My advice to buyers, ask whatever you want to know. It’s my job to answer your questions truthful. If I fail to respond, stop working with me because I failed you.

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