How will you know that a home is well-maintained? It has no cracks and fissures on the external and internal walls. The heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system works well. There are no gaps in the windows and doors. So, what could go wrong here, right? It’s a sound investment by the looks of it. Should we immediately make an offer for this property?
Your real estate broker will try to do their best to present homes that meet your desires. But there is no perfect formula for them to know that a home was well-maintained by the original owners. Sure, there’s a home inspection report, but even that won’t tell you all you want to know in a property that you’re going to pay with your hard-earned money.
So, you have to take it upon yourself to investigate just how well-maintained the home is. With a little research on the internet and a call to the right suppliers, you can get a full picture of how the house was maintained. This will push you in the right direction.
When you asked for the warranties for the HVAC system, appliances, and the home security system, are the warranties in one place? Or, did you have to wait for days before the seller sent you copies of them? If the warranties are all neatly in a folder, then that means the owner understands the importance of preventive maintenance.
You can check out the brands of the HVAC and home security systems. Are these trusted brands? What are the kinds of comments these brands are receiving on social media? Do some social media listening to get a feel of whether these brands are worth the money.
How does the front yard and backyard look like? Mature and healthy plants are a sign that the homeowner took care of the home’s surroundings. A well-maintained garden means there is proper drainage in the yard. If the backyard has a gazebo and a small patch for barbecue parties, that’s even better.
If you need to know just how well-maintained the garden is, ask for the number of the landscape company. Read about the company’s services in your spare time. What do they do? How much does the service cost? Is it company-owned, or is it a lawn care franchise business? If it’s a franchise, does it follow the guidelines of the mother company, or has it stumbled into some problems in recent years?
When you visited the home, how does the floor feel? It should feel solid on your feet. That signifies that it’s made of quality materials and that the owner shored up the subfloor beneath. If the home has carpet flooring, ask if you can see what’s underneath it. There shouldn’t be missing tiles. Cracking, peeling, or missing tiles are a no-no because how can you replace something that might not be available in the market anymore?
If the owner used the basement for entertainment, home office, or home gym, this is a great sign for you as a potential buyer. This means that the homeowner feels the basement is safe enough to store in important equipment and furniture. It signifies that the house itself has a sufficient sump pump and other drainage solutions. The homeowners are confident enough to use the basement because they don’t expect water damage to happen.
A finished basement also shows that the homeowners improved the home as much as possible. Usually, homeowners neglect the attic and basement because guests don’t even see these parts of the house. However, if it’s well-maintained, then it means that the rest of the house was properly maintained, too. After all, if they spent thousands of dollars to turn the basement into a home theater, then how much more did they spend for the rest of the house?
Roof and Gutters
You don’t see the roof, but that doesn’t mean it’s less important than the rest of the property. It is actually the most important component of a home. You have to make sure that the roof isn’t sagging.
You can wait for the home inspection report, but you can also ask the owner what kind of materials were used for the roof. Figure out if these materials are still in production because it will be problematic if you can’t find the same ones in the future. If the homeowners can answer you directly about the health of the roof and any repairs done on it in the past, that’s a great sign of a well-maintained part of the home.
These are positive signs that the property is a great investment. Of course, you also have to consider intangible things such as the location, neighborhood, and proximity to schools, government facilities, transportation hubs, etc. But once you checked all of these, then it’s time to make your decision.