Home inspections for older houses pose challenges that property inspectors don’t confront with newer properties. Although new homes have their share of issues, older properties are definitely more prone to be filled with concerns as a result of age, use and deterioration. Three of the more common areas of older properties to which home inspectors will need to pay particular attention are electrical wiring, plumbing and structural issues.
The electrical wiring of an older property calls for meticulous inspection. It is quite possible to discover missing insulated tapes, damaged cross-sections of the wire or damaged electric sheath of the wires. Old residences were built with ungrounded electrical receptacles and fixtures, and a number of local building codes still don’t require for these to be re-wired for grounding. Nevertheless, a property inspector will mention where grounding ought to be incorporated for safety. Grounding protects family members from electrocution by forwarding the flow of any leak into the earth rather than into a person who touches a faulty fixture, appliance or tool.
Old sewer pipelines are very vulnerable to damage over time, so these demand close inspection as well. Although recognizing a major leak is easy, minor leaks can be tough to find, because a lot of the time minor leaks are concealed behind cosmetic modifications. Home-owners often polish, repair and remodel their bathrooms, which might conceal leaks and improper fittings. Older homes may have other distinct plumbing challenges that are not exactly defective but rather troublesome for maintenance and repairs. Specifically, an older home can have copper plumbing and that is not optimal when it comes time for them to be serviced. The home inspector will need to look past the veneer for these minor issues with major potential.
Structure and Roof
The structural integrity of an older property needs to be validated to ascertain that the overall sturdiness of the structure is truly the same as what is being claimed. Taking a close look at the I-beam and other structural foundations is vital, because this will demonstrate the strength and life of the building for a property buyer. Fractures and other issues in the foundation may well need some repairs, so the property inspector of an older house may have to put in more time examining this area than a new home would call for. Also, the older residence may mean an older roof, and older roofs can be quite troublesome and expensive. Cracked shingles are common among older homes and require maintenance and/or repair. In regards to the roof, chimneys and ventilation points should also be meticulously checked.
Older houses have had a chance to develop problems not seen in newer properties, so inspectors must be aware of these challenges during property inspections for these properties. This is due to different building standards in the past, as well as, the fact that over time, any part of a home could give way. It is always crucial that an inspector is at the top of their game when examining any home, but as discussed above, it is particularly important when dealing with the special challenges of an older home.
With the housing market in a state of shock, and jumping through the necessary hoops to get that crucial mortgage being hard, buying your dream home may feel like it’s at an unattainable reach. Think again.
Here are the 5 most important step you can start taking today to achieving your dream and purchase that home. All these factors presented are of fundamental importance but when followed will place you firmly on the path to success.
1. Shape up financially
Shake off the burden of debt as quickly as possible. Plan how you will get debt free or at a minimum only have a small bank overdraft (with low interest rate). Always start by paying off the debt with the highest interest rates. Have completion date and stick to it.
Learn to budget, how to stick with it, and start using one today. Make saving an essential part of the budget. The two easiest ways to save money is to get debt free and learn to spend less, consider doing both.
Using websites online you can quickly find the crime rate, the average wages, and the change in house prices over the last five years. Certain areas or streets perform better than other, research more why this has occurred in those areas.
Take time to drive around the neighbour to get a feel for the area. See if you can locate a good school (within walking distance), supermarket and local convenience store (check the hours) and of course you can check things like play parks, pubs etc too! See how many house look abandoned or in a bad state. Lastly, how far are you from the office? How easy is it for you to get the train (if you work away a lot) or to the shops?
3. Let the Hunt Begin
Search high and low for properties on the market; make a list of what takes you’re fancy and what rubs you up the wrong way.
When you have a list of what features you are looking for and potential neighbours, then you are ready to find estate agents and let the house hunting begin! Stay focus on what you are after and your price range.
4. Find a Mortgage
Study the types, feature and interest rates currently available on mortgages. Do not rely on the mortgage lender to give you advice, make sure you know all the facts for yourself. Remember it’s their job to sell products. Also when comparing mortgages and their terms, do check how they compare online.
As this is a long term purchase, do not get caught up with short term ideas or see this purchase as a quick way to make money. With that in mind, make sure you pay a fair price and have the confidence to ask for a discount if needed.
Trust the information presented in the home survey, and weigh up if you can afford to take major problems should any arise. In these situation it good to know you can walk away.
A few years ago, when the property market was booming, you probably would have had a buyer for your home before the listing had even appeared in the estate agent’s window. But times have changed and if you want a quick house sale in the current economic climate, you need to do everything possible to attract a potential buyer.
10 tips for a quick property sale
1. Tidy it up! Potential buyers don’t want to see clutter and mess everywhere—it detracts from the important features in your home and makes small rooms look even smaller. Box up miscellaneous clutter and get rid of extra pieces of furniture until you have a sale.
2. Bedrooms are always an important selling point so if you have a bedroom currently being used as a study or playroom, put a bed back in there to ensure your home appeals to families. However, if you are hoping to appeal to young professionals, highlight potential home office space instead.
3. Decorate! You don’t need to go mad and have a new kitchen/bathroom fitted, but a lick of paint and some new carpet and curtains will help attract potential buyers, particularly if the property is looking a bit worn around the edges. And if you do decorate, stick to plain, light colours to create a feeling of space.
4. If there are any DIY jobs you have been putting off for years, bite the bullet and do them! Leaky gutters and a broken tile might seem unimportant to you, but they could be enough to put a buyer off, so fix them.
5. Kerb appeal is very important when selling houses—stand outside and look at your home from a buyer’s perspective: if the first thing you see is a lot of weeds and the recycling bins spilling out on to the driveway, it’s not a good look. So tidy up the garden, cut the lawn, plant some flowers, and add a hanging basket or two.
6. Don’t overprice your property—it may sound obvious, but too many people think their property is worth more than the current market value, and then wonder why nobody is coming to view. Do some research to see what other properties in your area are selling for, and then obtain several valuations to help you agree on a realistic selling price for your property.
7. In order to sell a property, it needs to be marketed well, so choose your estate agent carefully. Look around and see which agent is active in your area and pick the one you feel has the best motivation to sell your home.
8. Although you are likely to be paying an estate agent to sell your property, it doesn’t hurt to put the word out there yourself—tell everyone and anyone you are selling, and if you are lucky, someone might have a friend or colleague looking for property just like yours.
9. Once you have a viewing lined up, clean your home from top to bottom, keep pets and kids out of the way, and avoid making nasty cooking smells five minutes before your buyers show up.
10. Make your buyers feel welcome when they come for a viewing. Offer them a drink and have information to hand about local schools and other important amenities. It doesn’t hurt to dig some utility bills out either, just in case they ask.
Selling a property fast is not an exact science, but you can certainly maximise your chances of attracting a buyer quickly by selling at the right price and offering them a clean, tidy and attractive home!