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What To Look For?

February 17th, 2016 at 05:45 pm

So tomorrow night Mr FT and I will be doing our first walk through of the house which we think we want.

My boss was telling me to make sure to flush the toilets, run the sinks and showers, look under cabinets, etc.

What else should we look for?

The driveway has a crack going up the middle and looks like it goes into the garage. Could that be a foundation issue?

I got stamps today to mail the invitations, but won't get them mailed til tomorrow - some of the sticky stuff wasn't holding, so I'm going to tape them tomorrow before mailing.

I also stopped at Walgreen's and bought some Valentine's candy at 50% off - some kiss shaped ferraro chocolates in gold packets = two boxes of them. (table favors!)

I also got $10 worth of gas.

I decided to book the photographer I met with Monday night. He'll be charging $500 (his wife will assist him.) Sometime soon I'm going to have him and Mr FT meet so Mr FT will feel comfortable with him.

I also booked a videographer. She'll do the ceremony and reception (with highlights) for less than $100.

On Friday I have a hair trial appointment. (Yes, I found someone to do my hair!)

Need to work on my homework for the pre-marital counseling tonight, but otherwise am just going to take it easy. Smile

15 Responses to “What To Look For?”

  1. PatientSaver Says:

    I wouldn't worry too much about flushing toilets or running faucets. These are routine things that will be checked during the home inspection by someone you hire. I would try to ignore the furniture and other personal possessions that will distract from the "bones" of the house. Try to look past that to notice the layout and floor plan. Look at the condition of the flooring, carpeting and walls. Where do you see maintenance and work you'll have to do? Look at the kitchen. What would you feel you have to replace, if anything? What are the appliance brand names? You'll get a sense for whether the owner liked top shelf stuff or settled for the cheap brands. It all adds up pretty quickly so try to keep a mental running tab of things you like, and don't like. You could even take photos with your phone to help you remember little details later.

    Also pay attention to the relative size of all the rooms. Maybe having a large master bedroom is more important to you than, say, the size of the dining room, or whatever.

    For me, the outdoor space was just as important as the indoor space. I notice whether the sound of traffic from the interstate is really very noticeable, for instance. Or how close the neighbors' houses are or whether you notice an ATV in the neighbors' driveway. It all depends on what's important to you.

  2. PatientSaver Says:

    It might be helpful to create a 2-columned list of must-haves and nice to have. This could change over time as you see more homes.

    For me, my condo must haves are: gas heat, private outdoor space, updated kitchen & baths, not much bigger or smaller than 1400 sf., wood floors, central air, 2 bedrooms

    Nice to have: one level/ranch, in my hometown

  3. Laura S. Says:

    I had to pay through the roof for insurance because there was not a fire hydrant within 1000 feet of my house. I had a canal fifty feet away, but that made no difference.

  4. Kiki Says:

    Some things: http://hoa.org.uk/advice/guides-for-homeowners/i-am-buying/top-tips-things-not-to-forget-when-viewing-a-property/

    Also esurance had a good article in 2013.

    I took a ton of pictures when I went looking at the house I bought. I mean in the closets and garage and everywhere so that I could remember as many details as possible. Outside too so I could remember about how big the yard was etc.

    I also went and met the neighbors before I bought. I wanted a feel for the neighborhood. Turns out many are original buyers from 15 years ago. My direct neighbor is a renter family but they are pretty quiet. Although I am going to have to ask for the landlords number as I want to replace our common fence this fall. I also drove the neighborhood at all hours to see what it was like. I mean, midnight and 3 am! In all fairness it was New Year's Eve for the 3am as I was coming home from my best friends house but even the 8-10 pm drives were quiet.

  5. Stephanie Says:

    I can't advise on the driveway crack. I live in Florida and most large cement driveways have some sort of cracking if it was done in too large of a concrete pour. Crack maybe from underlying dirt/sand settling.

    In addition to determining if the layout and room sizes work for you:
    I would look for stains on ceilings or patching / repainted (water leaks from pipes or roof).
    I would look at outside foundation for any cracks.
    I would run faucets and flush toilets at the same time.
    I would open windows.

    If you end up make nag an offer, I would do an independent home inspection.

  6. VS_ozgirl Says:

    A building inspection sounds like a good idea. Here people get them done when buying a house. (We didn't have to because my husband is a carpenter, he has a lot of knowledge when it comes to this sort of thing). Good luck, how very exciting!

  7. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Thank you everyone! I will definitely be taking lots of pictures. Smile If we like what we see tonight, then we will probably go back again on Sunday to see the backyard during the daytime. Maybe we could stop by a neighbor's house then. (It looks like their next door neighbors moved in about two years ago. Otherwise, it looks like most people have been there for a while based on nearby sales.)

    We'll definitely get a formal inspection (including Radon) before buying!!

  8. creditcardfree Says:

    Don't just look, but smell. If the air is stale or musty a sign of mold or mildew. Looking for areas that could be water damaged is a good idea(ceilings, walls, under sinks, floors). Ask when chimney was last cleaned. See if gutters are mostly clear of leaves. Curling of shingles on roof is not a good sign. Ask when a/c and furnace were last serviced, if not already disclosed. Have they ever had to have backed up sewer lines (usually from tree roots) fixed? Not necessarily a bad thing, but nice to know for future awareness.

    Smart girl to get radon test and home inspection (although they can't catch everything!).

  9. Ima saver Says:

    A home inspector will find something wrong, that is what they are paid to do. One inspector could find nothing, so he said that the trees were too close to the house. (We love trees and don't take them down unless they are in the way)
    I would look for water damage too.

  10. Frugaltexan75 Says:

    Thanks CCF! How do you check the gutters? Get up on a ladder? When I went to the home buying seminar in January the home inspector person emphasized how much radon was in the area and that it's relatively simple to get rid of/fix.

    I just called the realtor and thanked him for his time, but that I'd realized since the home we're looking at is a FSBO, that we should proceed without wRealtor. However, if we decide to not go with this one, I'd give him a call.

    iMA - I'd rather have a nitpicking inspector than one who's blase. Smile

  11. Frugaltexan75 Says:

    I just got a call back from the Realtor asking why I didn't want him there. I told him that if we worked with him on this house and bought it, then it might make things more difficult for the sale price/offer. He told me he was happy to be there with us so he'd know what we liked / didn't like - in case we don't go for it. That it wouldn't be a waste of his time. So I said ok. I'd really rather have someone knowledgeable there to look at it with us.

  12. snafu Says:

    Since it's FSBO, I'd ask age of furnace/AC, water tank, appliances. Adding to list... My fav check is to bring a few marbles to set on floors to see how level they are...it's a structural thing. Like others, I don't care about colors or decor, paint is the cheapest, easiest DIY but give attention to adequate lighting. Buying a house is usually the most expensive purchase anyone makes so I hope you'll spend time in each room/area imagining usage. For example, imagine driving and even walking in with 2-3 bags of groceries and your handbag. How easy is it to access kitchen counter?

    Does kitchen have space for table & two chairs? Is set up bump? Any counter space adjacent to each appliance? Adequate counter space for your daily use items like coffee or tea stn., toaster, knife holder, chop/cutting board? Quality faucet? Imagine preparing dinner after a ghastly, busy day...easy access to set table, cook quinoa, fry onion/celery/garlic trinity, plug for crock pot? Utility cupboard for mop, broom, vacuum, cleaning products, tools.

    Entry adequate, defined space for outer wear? Lv Rm furniture placement is typically sofa on largest wall, piece to balance/entertainment TV opposite, other furnishings. Bd Rm adequate size for bed, able to walk around sides easily to straight linens, adjacent unit for alarm, personal products, night reading. Dresser space either opposite bed or adjacent to closet as you prefer. Closet space adequate for both your wardrobes. BdRm #2 adequate multi functional home office, craft zone, guest rm. Bth Rm, vanity space for daily grooming products while in use, towel, product storage. How long does it take to get hot water in the shower/quality shower unit. Landscaping, time/effort/equipment required. Parking for yourselves and guests. Any imposed restrictions? permits required?

    AS FSBO you need an excellent lawyer who specializes in RE. Squiggle room statements like 'on approved financing,' on meeting inspection approval, on no land restriction, all permits filed and in order etc.

  13. snafu Says:

    my Mac Air doesn't like SA as it often drops sentences or phrases here...not on other sites and it refuses to allow me to edit.

    I was trying to say...check appliance doors, fridge/stove/DW so ensure they do not bump one another...

  14. Frugaltexan75 Says:

    Thank you Snafu! Lots of things to check on!

  15. creditcardfree Says:

    Ima does have a point. Inspectors generally will have something they think is a problem...makes it feel like you got your money's worth. Doesn't mean the seller will or has to fix though.

    You might be able to see if the gutters are clogged just by standing out in the street. If you see leaves sticking up then, there is some lack of maintenance there. An inspector should get on the roof, so they could check.

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