If you are in the market for a new home, visiting show houses will be a likely first step in your search - and it can also be a confusing process if you plan to visit many homes.
Seeff Richards Bay unpacks five potential pitfalls to look for at a show house.
1. Take Your Time
Take your time during a show house. This will help you pick up on any recurring noises such as creaks, as well as traffic noise pollution, which you may not hear during a quick tour, but may be a deal breaker.
Walk the neighbourhood and take note of its general condition. Any information you can glean about the surrounding area will help make your final decision much easier.
2. Tour the Outside
Walk the perimeter of the home if possible, and note any trees or shrubs that are growing close to foundation walls. Encroaching roots can be an expensive fix down the road. If the yard slopes toward the house, that may mean water is pooling around the foundation.
While foundation cracks are quite common, one should ensure that it's not a potential structural issue. Take note of the location and try to compare to the interior of the home, if accessible. Roof repairs, window replacements, and general upkeep (or lack thereof) will give helpful clues to the owner's standpoint on home maintenance.
3. Check for Mould
Mould and water damage can amount to expensive repair bills, and potential health problems, if not addressed. In bathrooms, check for obvious signs of surface mould on bath fixtures and edges. When all else fails, use your nose to help you find any areas in the home that may be suspect.
4. Look for Pests
While no one wants to consider an infestation of any kind, they do happen, so it's important to be vigilant about critters that could cause destruction to a home. Check windowsills and exterior entryways for termite wings that have recently been shed or sawdust that could indicate the presence of carpenter ants. And don't forget the tell-tale sign of rodent droppings!
5. Sketchy Renovations
Renovated homes can be particularly attractive, but older homes, in particular, can have a host of issues. Notice the location of any walls that have been removed. If it was a load bearing wall, ensuring the renovations were completed correctly will be key to the safety of the structure.
Outdated wiring can be a fire hazard, particularly when a new electrical system has been partially wired into and older existing system.
The Bottom Line
While the show house may be a first step in helping you narrow down your list, it can never replace a proper home inspection, which should be completed before purchasing any property as the savings and peace of mind over the long-term will always prevail.
Follow these tips for buying a home to save a great deal of time, money and headaches down the road.