Serving Mid, Western and Northern Michigan,
Kalamazoo, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Traverse City
Monday, December 16th, 2019 by Amanda Waldmann
While spring is the most common time to buy a house, many people start looking for their new home at the start of a new year. If you’re one of them, here are some tips for your upcoming hunt.
Whether it’s the front door or the bathroom door, every door in a house tells a story. Look for doors that are hard to open or close, or that seem off-kilter in their frames. Sticking windows and doors are a common sign of foundation settlement. Cracks around the doorframes point to foundation issues, as well.
Pay special attention when you walk around the first floor. Is there a soft spot on the floor? Maybe one of the rooms feels distinctly slanted? Anything from foundation settlement to just a week support joist can cause issues with the floor.
Paying attention to musty smells is easy in the spring and summer, but it’s more of a challenge when the temperatures dip. When you tour the basement, keep your nose sharp - any “off” smell that isn’t easily explained by a litter box, etc, could be a sign of ambient moisture. This doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker, but it’s a sign that you’ll probably need a dehumidifier.
If the basement isn’t finished, look for water stains on the walls and floor - this is a sign of water issues. Pay close attention to the joint where the walls meet the floor, and around any basement windows. Even if the basement is finished, there’s often a small utility room that isn’t - find it!
If you find a house you love, but see something that concerns you - or even if you don’t turn up anything but want peace of mind, call us! Once you’ve made an accepted offer, we work within the buyer’s inspection period to make sure you have a full picture of what is or isn’t going on in the basement before you move forward. Happy hunting!