When buying real estate, you may find some unexpected problems. Generally, these issues revolve around plumbing, wiring or sticking doors and windows. Although they aren't as expensive to fix as other issues, there's always a possibility that they indicate bigger problems.
Spotting wear and tear on doors and windows is fairly easy. Check the hinges and locks. Squeaking hinges or locks that stick indicate wear on seals and metal.
Although sticking doors and windows aren't a big deal in and of themselves, these issues can be indications of moderate to severe foundation problems. If you find these issues in real estate, make your way to the basement and look for cracks or dips in the floors and walls.
Pay attention to how the floors of the house feel when you walk. If you're at all uneasy, have an inspector look at the house before you buy.
Sometimes, plumbing problems aren't so easy to find. Sellers have been known to use temporary fixes, which does a good job of hiding the issues. However, there are places to look that make the problems easier to find.
- Look up in the corners where the walls connect to the ceiling. Spackled ceilings make issues especially easy to spot, as they pick up water stains or crack and flake.
- Another place to check is the bathroom, along the bottom of the wall.
- Tile grout has a tendency to crack or flake, become discolored or loosen with continuous proximity to water.
- Finally, check the closets.
People who use temporary fixes will generally work hard to cover up the problems in lived-in rooms, while forgetting to fix walls and ceilings in closets.
Spotting faulty or old wiring depends on the size of the issue and where it's located. For instance, a bad socket can be found by looking for darkened spots around the holes. However, it's impossible to look through the walls to find faulty or old wiring behind them. An electrician will be able to give you a better idea of the wiring in the real estate.
Remember, nothing takes the place of getting real estate you're thinking of buying inspected by a professional.
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