important questions to consider when viewing properties, as they can add or subtract from the overall enjoyment of your home. LET YOUR AGENT DO THE JOB Don’t go viewing on your own. There’s a security factor in traveling to unoccupied houses alone. Additionally, there are other ways this makes you vulnerable. A seller’s agent might think you’re unrepresented and attempt to take advantage of you. Let your Realtor® do the job. If you come across a property that interests you, but your agent hasn’t told you about it, it might not meet all your criteria. If you think you want to view it, give your agent the address and phone number. Your agent can then arrange a proper viewing for you, together, without the owner being present and with your agent present. THE CONDITION OF THE PROPERTY In assessing a home for potential purchase, there are important items to be on the lookout for — the primary one being the condition of the property. Is the home structurally sound? Walk around the interior of the home checking the walls and ceilings for cracks. Hairline cracks are to be expected in some places. Check the exterior for cracks. Cracks could be a sign that the property isn’t structurally sound. Points at which extensions join are places to look, as cracks often occur there. Also look for loose or broken tiles on the roof or broken guttering, evidence of damage to the drywall and weaknesses on the floors. It’s acceptable to ask how long it’s been like that, and whether it will be fixed. If you see major cracks or bowing walls, have a structural engineer assess the situation. Look (and smell) closely for evidence of mold. Mold and mold damage is a major problem that will cost you a lot to clean and repair. Don’t just look for it — use your nose as well. Mold frequently gives off a musty smell, even when there are no visible signs. Inspect all crawl spaces, basements area, and walls. Plaster that’s flaking, watermarks on walls or ceilings, or even a fresh coat of paint in part of a room could be indications of mold. Don’t overlook the ceiling and around the skirting boards properly for evidence of leaks or water damage.
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