You've found the perfect home. It's a beach-front property sitting on two acres of land with the best views. But, if you're like most buyers, you didn't ask the right questions during the purchase process. For example, why's that huge blot of paint thicker on the siding of one wall than it is on others? Or, why is the home sloping so much at the back, while it's level at the front? These, and other things buyers forget to look for when buying, end up costing more than they bargained for.
Concealing Paint Coverage
You'll obviously look at the floor and ceiling for watermarks to spot signs of water damage. But, if you notice fresh paint right before an open house, on several walls or areas of the home, sellers might be trying to hide something. This includes mold damage, which is an even bigger issue you don't want to deal with. Check pipes, exposed areas, and look for fresh paint. If it's staring you in the face, don't hesitate to ask about it.
Uneven or Bouncy Floors
A bouncy or "spongy" floor can represent issues with the foundation. This is something you don't want to have to deal with as a buyer. It is expensive to repair, and there's a reason the seller didn't do the work. One or two creeks in a vintage home with hardwoods aren't alarming. But, if every other step you take when touring the home ends up feeling like you're walking on clouds, find out why.
How's the Insulation?
Is the property you're touring one with fiberglass insulation? If so, this older material isn't as effective as other options. If temperatures dip, you're going to feel it more than in homes with cellulose or updated/modern materials. On the same note, request information about energy-star or efficiency ratings, the insulation in the roof and flooring, and other questions pertaining to the home's insulation. It makes a difference for your heating and cooling costs, and your overall comfort levels when temperatures get hot/cold during different seasons.
Where's the Permit?
There's plenty of work done to the property but the seller doesn't have permits for that work. A 3R report is similar to a report card. It tells you the good and bad associated with the property and work done to the home. If there's no report for the deck upgrades, this potentially means the work wasn't done to code. If siding repair doesn't include a report, it might have been done by a contractor that wasn't licensed, rending the work unsafe.
Ask questions and ask for all reports for all work done, even if it seems trivial. It's not!
What Aren't You Seeing?
If there are areas of the property a seller won't take you to or doesn't want you to see, this should be an immediate red flag as a buyer. You shouldn't have to ask why an area of a home is blocked off during the open house. Or, if the seller brushes by a room/area quickly or doesn't include information about it in the listing details, ask them why? You're paying for the entire home, so you should see all of it before you buy it. If sellers are weary or brush over certain details, find out why.
It's your investment, and the home you'll be living the next 15-20 years (plus) in. If something's not right, or you have any reservations, make sure to ask about them. You'll protect yourself, finances, and avoid the headache of major repairs/damage when the time comes to choose the home you're going to purchase.