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Look Under the Home Before You Buy

Monday, March 15th, 2021 by Margot Cornelius

Look Under the Home Before You Buy - Image 1

Home improvement TV shows will have you believe that an open concept living room and double bathroom sinks are “must-haves” in a new home. I’m here to remind you to look under the house—the basement and crawl space. Missing red flags and warning signs below a new home could cost you much more than you planned. Here are five warning signs to look out for when walking through your home with an inspector.

Wall cracks

If you notice wall cracks near window frames or doors upstairs, and especially cracks in the foundation walls in the basement, it could be a sign of foundation settling. This is something you definitely want to consider when buying the home because it will get worse over time.


If you walk into a prospective home that has a musty smell, do not ignore it. Smells are usually a great indicator that there are water issues in the basement or crawl space. You should notice it as soon as you enter the home or when you get to the bottom of the basement steps. Water issues could be hard to see but that damp, wet, moldy, musty smell is a big red flag that a swim in your basement could be in your future.

DIY fixes

If you see signs of rubberized paint or sealer, you should ask about the details of the problem and how long they’ve been treating it. DIY fixes could disguise a much more serious water problem that will need a permanent fix.

It may not seem intuitive to look underneath a potential home to determine if it’s a good investment for your family. We’ve seen many homes over the past 40 years and identifying these issues early on will help you decide if the home is worth purchasing or if the issue is a dealbreaker.

If you already have an accepted offer, we will be glad to come out during your 10-day inspection period. Schedule today:

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Ayers Basement Systems
2505 S. Waverly Hwy
Lansing, MI 48911
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