9 Things to Check Before Buying a Home

9 Things to Check Before Buying a Home

So, you've found the dream home and are about to begin your contract paperwork. The interior has a lot of potential and you're so ready to make the big move. But, before you start putting ink to paper, make sure that you've reviewed these nine different elements. Sure, a professional home inspector will do some of these things too, but checking these things before you pay an inspector to come out will give you a good feel for the home you're going to buy: 

1. Open the Windows

Yep, all of them. As you make your way through the home, make sure that the windows open and close with ease. It could save you hundreds on heating and cooling, and, if there is an issue, you can get it taken care of before closing. 

2. Run the HVAC System

Ensuring that both heating and air conditioning run effectively and at an accurate temperature will make you more confident in your purchase. Plus, here in Chicago, it's good to know that your home can adapt to changing weather quickly. 

Special note - do NOT run the air conditioning in cold months, even to test it. Inspectors will only test the system if the outdoor temperature has been above 60 degrees consistently for the prior couple days. The reason is that the refrigerant thickens in cool weather and the system can be damaged if run in cool weather. 

3. Pull the Carpet Back

All sorts of nasty stuff can lurk beneath carpet: mold, bugs, and mildew. Plus, you can find out if your new home has been rocking hardwood floors this entire time! Pulling up a patch in the closet might be the safest spot and will hide any damage that might result. 

4. Talk to the Neighbors

Your potential neighbors might know a few of the house's hidden quirks. Ask them what kind of challenges the previous owners faced and why the family decided to make a move. 

5. Flush the Toilets

Make sure that toilets are functioning correctly and to your standard. Check to see that they can process toilet paper! If not, you can easily get this fixed before closing, too. 

6. Scope Out Basement Moisture

Of course, dehumidifiers are very common in Midwestern basements. This, perhaps, makes it even easier to tell when someone skipped that appliance and chose to let water have its way with basement walls. Let your nose be your guide and be on the lookout for what kind of equipment is and isn't be used. 

7. Run Water Through All of the Drains

Make sure that the faucets are functioning, the water pressure is on point, and that drains are flowing easily, even in the shower. Don't let cruddy plumbing run your new household. 

8. And, While You're At It, Try the Water

You're going to be tasting that water for a while, so get a feel for what you're buying into. Will you need to get a water softener or filtration system? 

9. Review the Electrical Panel

Make sure that the chart on the electrical panel is clean, accurate, and free of loose–possibly live–wires. 

If you're looking to get started on your home search, drop the Real Group Team a line! We'd love to help you find a new place to call home!

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