The last thing you want to buy into when you’re looking at homes is one that has been poorly maintained. Most homes receive a small makeover before they hit the market, but that cosmetic enhancement won’t cover up problems like old 3m furnace filters. If you see any of these issues crop up, it would be a good time to inspect the home and get an estimate for repairs.
Your HVAC unit relies on a home air filter to block particulate matter from circulating into your home. IF this filter has not been replaced on a regular basis, it can cause your home’s air compressor to force air through at a more strenuous pace. This degrades the lifespan of your unit and does nothing for the air quality in your home. Left unchecked, those with respiratory problems will only experience worse symptoms. Most of these units are of the replaceable variety, and are relatively inexpensive to replace.
Neglect usually occurs naturally, as a result of not remembering to change the filter. It’s recommended that you check your filters once every three months, so mark a date in your calendar to help you remember.
As you walk the property you’re about to buy, you should test everything and inspect things yourself. This is not a substitution for a licensed home inspection, but you will know off the bat if the home is worth pursuing. Check all the outlets, turn on the light switches and inspect all of the closets and doors. When you inspect cabinets, look for signs of shoddy workmanship like loose doors or brackets.
Another hidden problem to watch out for is the sinks. Turn on all faucets and set them to produce hot water. Test the water with your fingers to gauge the temperature and take note of how long it takes to heat the water. This will give you an idea of how long your water heater has left in its life span, with older units taking longer to heat the water you need in the home.
Look for water spots on the walls and ceilings, as these are indicative of greater problems within the home. Pipes are difficult to inspect, and most home inspectors won’t guarantee your pipes even after a home inspection. They will help you locate water spots, which are telltale signs of leaks. Small spots can mean a leak left unchecked, but larger spots might signal mold or property damage.