Buying a Home? Due Diligence will Save You Money and Stress
If you are in the market to buy a home, before you fall in love with a property and sign on the dotted line, make sure you do your due diligence and check out the key systems closely. Whether a pre-inspection is provided by the seller or you have had your own inspection (always encouraged and recommended). Make sure you pay close attention to the following so that you aren’t in big trouble after the home closes. Washington is a Buyer-Beware state when it comes to real estate law, so it’s best to cross out T’s an dot the I’s ahead of time.
Sewer/Septic – If on sewer and depending on the area, the homeowner may be responsible for the sewer pipes from the house to the connection point. I recommend having this inspected, even if buying new. All too often roots, gravel, and fractures can cause thousands of dollars in damage – a bill that I would like you to avoid if possible. If on a septic, make sure you are provided with the maintenance records and review them. In many areas, a fresh inspection and pumping are necessary before a sale.
Foundation – Foundation issues are costly! Inspect the foundation for tell-tale cracks and water marks. If you see areas of concern, consider bringing in a specialist to determine the extent of the problem and what it might cost to fix it.
Roof – Roofing materials have a lifespan. Find out what the roof is constructed with, who installed it, and get an idea of when it may need to be replaced again. If you have concerns you may be able to get a roof certification which is an opinion provided by a licensed roofing contractor that certifies that the roof is free of defects and should perform as designed for a provided period of time (however, this is not necessarily a warranty).
Heating/Cooling – These can also be very expensive to replace, so ask the seller when these were installed, what issues they have had, and ask for the maintenance records. These systems have an expected lifespan, so if they are nearing the end of theirs, you will need to either budget for these or possibly negotiate with the seller for pricing accommodations.
Home Warranty – Since appliances including water heaters and sometimes heating and cooling systems and plumbing systems are pricey to repair or replace, you can consider getting a home warranty which covers repairing or replacing these items. Different companies and policies do different things, so if this is something you are considering, do your research, read online reviews, and compare pricing before moving forward.
Buy with your head as well as your heart and your future self will thank you. Questions or concerns about your home or next home purchase? Reach out!