Buying a house is a big deal. Whether you’re purchasing a starter home or your forever home, there’s so much involved in the real estate process. You need to make sure you ask the right questions before you finalize anything; this is especially true if you’re buying an older home. Below are five questions you should ask when buying an older home. The last thing you want is to move in and experience headaches right off the bat.
How are the pipes?
It’s crucial to inquire about the piping system of an older home to avoid running into a host of issues later on. Ask your Realtor® if the previous owners had any problems with hard water in their pipelines. Hard water can clog up a home’s piping system and affect the water pressure. It can also cause your appliances to stop working. Finally, hard water can be hazardous to your skin—the extra minerals can make your skin very dry. Be sure to demand answers about an older home’s pipes to avoid any issues in the future.
Are there any foundation cracks?
An insightful question to ask when buying an older home is if there are any cracks in the foundation. Foundation cracks are a major red flag, as they can cause a house to sag and lean. One tip is to bring a marble with you to every showing. If the marble rolls on the floor, this indicates uneven floors, which could in turn signify foundation issues. Structural problems may also cause leaks or flooding down the line.
Did the previous owners remodel?
If an older home looks updated, ask your Realtor® if the previous owners did any remodeling. If the answer yes, ask them what the previous owners remodeled and why. Ask them how the job went: did they run into any issues along the way? See if your Realtor® will give you the name of the contractor who oversaw the work so that you can investigate and make sure they produce high-quality work.
How’s the HVAC system?
Typically, HVAC systems aren’t visible in homes. However, just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t necessary. It’s so important that your HVAC system works properly so that you don’t freeze during the winter or overheat in the summer. Ask your Realtor® the last time the HVAC was updated, and make sure it runs efficiently. A new HVAC system can cost thousands of dollars; the last thing you need is for it to break after spending a bunch of money on a house.
Is there any evidence of asbestos?
Another question to ask when buying an older home is whether there’s any evidence of asbestos. If the Realtor® answers yes, ask how the previous owners handled the issue. What company did they use to get rid of the asbestos, and how significant was the problem? You should also ask your Realtor® to run an asbestos inspection before you finalize anything. The previous owners could’ve been completely unaware of the presence of asbestos, so you need to ensure everything is safe before you sign on the dotted line.