One of the most valuable skills a Charlotte, NC area new home shopper can develop is the ability to walk through a property and identify the areas that might require attention or repair. Even though a professional inspector will ultimately be needed, it can prevent last-minute surprises.
#1: Beyond “Curb Appeal”
The first thing anyone looking for a new home notices is the state of the yard and the structure’s exterior. If the grass is healthy, plants recently pruned, and walls not in need of a paint job, good. Then, dig a bit deeper. Part of maintaining a healthy landscape is having a properly working irrigation system. Ask the owner or agent to turn on the system, and as it cycles, check from time to time to see if there are any broken pipes, sprinkler heads, or valve issues. And give the exterior walls a quick check for chipping paint or plaster, cracks in the siding, or other hidden damage.
#2: Major Structural & Equipment Needs
Just like the first impression you formed outside, you’ll get a quick impression of the interior. Pros always remember to look up, checking for settling cracks in the ceiling as well as at the wall joins. The ceiling is also where stains sometimes turn up, indicating water damage from roofing problems. Upstairs in a two-story home, walk as much of the floor as possible to check for creaks or squeaks that might need repair. Finally, go into the kitchen and inspect any appliances that are included. A quick once-over should tell you whether or not these are likely to be sufficient as-is.
#3: Finishing Touches
In any new home, you will inevitably be adding your own touches — but like repairs, these will add expense. Think doorknobs, ceiling fans, cabinet doors, molding, switch plates, closet doors, window covering, etc.
Before you shell out several hundred dollars for a professional inspector, you can give any property that might become your new home an initial once-over. For more tips and for answers to any and all of your Charlotte, NC area real estate questions, feel free to give me a call!