Nevada City Virtual Tour

Thursday, April 5, 2012

How to Look at a House Critically with a Trained Eye

How to Look at a House

Each time you look at a property, compare that property against your search parameters. If a specific home falls short of your desires, consider if you can alter the home to make it acceptable to you.


Certain features of a home are virtually impossible to change (e.g. location, ceiling height, or lack of nearby transportation). But, many features of a building which may be perceived as a drawback to you may be easily remedied. If the street noise bothers you, consider installing double pane windows. If the heating system is inadequate, you may be able to install additional heaters or central heating. Building closets may solve inadequate storage issues. Or adding crown moldings and new baseboard trim may address a lack of architectural detail.

Important Questions to Ask

When you see a house that meets most of your criteria and that house appears to be a likely prospect for further consideration, you will want to ask certain vital questions or inspect certain aspects of the home more thoroughly. Some frequently asked questions are: 
  1. Are there any recent inspection reports? In some situations, a seller may have obtained a recent pest control or general contractor inspection. This information should be reviewed before submitting an offer.
  2. In what condition are the systems (heating, plumbing, electrical, and the roof)? For example, if a roof is very old, it may need to be replaced soon. The cost of this type of work should be considered in the terms and conditions of your offer.
  3. What items of personal property are included in the sale? Appliances which are not built-in, such as stoves, refrigerators, and washers/dryers, may not be part of the sale. Get that information before writing an offer.
  4. When were improvements made and were they done with permits? If the seller provides evidence that building permits were issued for additions or other major improvements, chances increase that these improvements comply with local building and zoning codes. Many properties in the Nevada County area have improvements completed without the benefit of permits. What does this mean to you? I can help answer this question.  
  5. Are there any signs of dampness or poor drainage? These conditions are often difficult and expensive to correct.
This is why you need an agent who can coach you on what to look for and for good recommendations on home inspectors. I can help you find information that is public data that most people don't know how to find.

Please visit and see why Gary Tippner is different.

ETF and Stock Expert Feed