Buying, Moving

13 Essential Things To Look For When Viewing A House

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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Emily is a 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.

2 Replies to 13 Essential Things To Look For When Viewing A House

  1. It really helped when you talked about how to find hidden issues when checking a house out. Recently, my wife and I decided we’d like to buy a house soon. We think it’d be smart if we hired a realtor to help us, so we’ll look into it and follow your viewing tips. Thanks for the advice on visiting a property before closing any deal.

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