As buyers, it can be difficult to enter someone's home and feel really comfortable enough to take a hard, calculating look at the structure, features and fixtures of each particular house.
However, it is extremely important that you do so, in order to choose the best home for your family and your housing investment.
While having a home inspection is the best way to get factual information about any home you are seriously interested in buying, there are some flaws that even novice buyers can see while viewing a home for the first time.
Here are some of the most important ones.
Even experienced home buyers have closed on a home and then discovered windows that failed to open or close correctly.
Perhaps they were merely painted carelessly and the paint keeps them from opening, but this type of problem can also signal a serious structural problem, so buyers must always make sure to raise and lower each window in the homes they are viewing.
Just as the windows are a clue to the structural health of a home, door frames, doors and baseboards are, as well.
Door frames that look like they are leaning, doors that won't open or close easily or won't stay closed once shut, as well as baseboards that have large gaps between them and the floor are all signs of foundation or serious settlement problems.
Noisy or creaky floors are more of an annoyance than anything, but floors that make you feel like you are surfing up and down over rolling waves have some serious problems.
To check for slanted or buckled floors, take small steps back forth across each room in all directions. Pay attention to areas that seem weak or have humps or depressions.
Carry a small rubber ball in your pocket and see if it will remain still when you set it down or if it rolls quickly in one particular direction each time you try. If this is the case, the floors are very unlevel and you will need to know why.
Before viewing homes, request seller disclosure documents on each one. While viewing have your real estate professional notate any questions or issues that you find in each home so that more information can be obtained.