One of the most important things to do before you move into a new home—whether you’re buying or renting—is a thorough home inspection. If you’re buying a home, you’ll likely use a professional home inspector, but if you’re renting, you probably won’t go to such measures, which means you’ll have to handle the inspection yourself. In order to better prepare our readers for the potential pitfalls of moving into a home that’s not in good shape, we’ve put together this list of things to inspect before moving.
Floors, Ceilings, & Walls
Some of the easiest problems to spot in the home are signs of mold, mildew and structural damage. Mold and mildew are most evident in the condition of the floors, ceilings, and walls, particularly in areas that are damp or not well ventilated. While structural damages can be more difficult to pin down, if there are major issues, you can often find evidence of a potential problem by noting any sort of warping or discoloration inside the home.
Attic & Basement
The attic and basement are places where you should be able to more easily determine if there are any structural issues since they are a more “bare bones” part of a home. You’ll still want to keep an eye out for mold, mildew, and leaks in these areas as well as they can often show up there before other parts of the house. When examining the attic and basement (or crawl space), be sure to look for signs of pests, especially termites.
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Water Pressure, Sinks & Toilets
Plumbing issues are another problem that many houses have and a quick check of sinks and toilets can often show signs of a larger issue. If there isn’t sufficient water pressure in the shower and sinks, that’s a sign of a problem. Likewise, if the toilet tank doesn’t refill properly or continues to run after flushing, that could be a potential issue as well.
Check the Roof
The roof is another area of the house that should be inspected before moving in. If there are any parts of the roof that show signs of wear or deterioration, that can easily turn into a costly problem down the line. By the same token, you should make sure to note the condition of rain gutters to make sure that rain water has a clear and easy path to run away from the house.
Lights & Appliances
Other important aspects of the house to check on before moving in are the lights, outlets and appliances. Check out all the electrical outlets to make sure they’re in good working order, as well as any ceiling lights. Appliances like the stove, refrigerator, washer, and dryer should also be fully operational and checked upon before signing a lease or making an offer. Don’t forget to check that the heater and air conditioner work well so that you don’t have a bigger issue that suddenly needs to be dealt with later.