A new home is likely the largest investment you’ll make in your life. You can find plenty of tips and tricks for how to choose your home before making the purchase, from financing advice to choosing your neighborhood.
This post will help you learn what to look out for when appraising the house to ensure you make the wisest investment possible. There are red flags you might not have otherwise noticed, such as an old roof, that can help you avoid buying a money pit. Here are our top warning signs, from the professional contractors at Mr. Roof.
Look at the home from a distance. Check for sagging or bowed walls or roof structures. Inside the home, see if any walls aren’t square in the corners. The floors shouldn’t flex or bend when you walk on them. These are all signs of structural and foundation issues that can cost a fortune to fix – or make the home totally unlivable.
Another sign of potential foundation problems is water damage on the outside of the home. Rotten wood, water stains, and peeling siding can show that a home that has been poorly maintained and may have a moisture problem. Water in the structure of a building can cause costly and dangerous problems like mold growth and roof collapse.
Old, Broken, Outdated Windows
Don’t underestimate the value of new windows. Window design has changed significantly in the last few decades. Simple panes of glass won’t do much to provide energy efficiency or temperature control. Modern windows have several features that benefit homeowners.
When touring a home, look for Energy Star stickers or ask if the windows are Energy Star approved. The Energy Star program sets the standards in the industry for energy efficiency and air infiltration. If you buy a house with old, low-quality, or broken windows, prepare to factor in window replacement as part of the cost.
Siding in Need of Replacement
Old siding isn’t just an eyesore – it can point to a number of underlying issues related to ineffective siding. Use a screwdriver to tap on the boards. Check for pieces that are soft or pliant. These are signs it’s time for a siding replacement.
If the previous homeowner put off replacing the siding, you could have a range of other exterior and interior home issues on your hands. Warped, rotted, or peeling siding can mean high heating and cooling costs, mold growth beneath the boards, dry rot, termites, damp insulation, or water damage. Ask the owner when he or she last replaced or repainted the siding.
Unsightly, Dilapidated Roof
One of the most important home features to inspect is the roof. Look for missing shingles, or shingles in a variety of colors. Mismatched shingles mean the previous owner has had to replace shingles in the past.
While this isn’t a problem in itself, many different colors could signal an underlying issue with the roof. Shingles that are cracked, broken, buckled, or curling are also signs of a problem. The roof may not have proper ventilation, leading to trapped moisture and excess heat. The roof may simply be old and ready for replacement. Ask these roofing questions before signing on the dotted line:
- How old is the roof? When it was replaced? A typical asphalt roof lasts between 18 and 25 years depending on the region, weather, and maintenance. Metal roofing and other materials may last longer or shorter. Learn when the owner last replaced the roof to gauge when you will need to pay for this service again.
- What type of roof does the home have? A home’s roof type can decide what type of maintenance, repairs, and potential issues you might encounter as the owner. A flat roof, for example, may be more prone to leaks. Choose a roof style you feel comfortable with, and that makes sense for the weather in your region.
- Who last replaced the roof? Roofing systems are not DIY-friendly ? they require skilled professional roofers for proper installation. Check out the contractor the last homeowner used to gauge the quality of the job. A low-quality job increases the risk of roof problems like leaks and curling shingles.
The roof is by far one of the most critical components of a home. Issues with the roof could make a home on your list a no-go. When in doubt about a structure’s roof, contact a roofing contractor and request an inspection.
At Mr. Roof, we’ll come to the home’s location and inspect the roof for free. If we think it needs repairs or replacement, we’ll give you a free price estimate of these services to factor into your total purchase price.