Purchasing a new home is a time of excitement and anxiety about making the right choice, to help you along with the decision-making, here is a checklist of vital things to know about your prospective home, so when you move in there are no unpleasant surprises.

Check the moisture in the basement, and the ventilation in the bathrooms

It is absolutely essential that both receive the right amount of ventilation to ensure you won’t have a mold problem during the winter season, or after taking too long of showers. Though you may not receive heavy snowfall, sudden flash floods, or strong storms can cause major damage to a basement that already has dampness. Although a professional home inspector should check this out for you before purchase, it’s always a good idea to do a bit of inspection yourself, and even decide if you need to invest in some dehumidifiers or other fans.

Check for signs of infestation of pests or rodents

If you think, “Oh its just one ant” then think long and hard about the last time you saw just one ant. Also remember that where there are ants, there are also spiders, cockroaches, and other pests and can enter a home through the garage, basement, or even windows and front doors. Having a professional pest control technician do a thorough inspection before purchase is a great way to estimate what kind of a problem you’re going to deal with. If there is a small pest or even a rodent problem, that’s no reason not to buy the home since there are many pest control services available at inexpensive rates that can eliminate the problem not matter what the season.

Check every last drain 

This is one that most people don’t even think about until they try to flush the toilet, or run the garbage disposal and one or the other is clogged which causes a back up. I’ve even heard of people who were frustrated with the selling process and left clogs in the drains on purpose to “get back” at those who may have not given them the price they wanted for their home in the first place. While you may not have to deal with the repercussions of an immature seller, if a home has been vacant for some time if can have back up when first starting out again. Even a tree branch or a collapsed pipe can cause a problem for your first load of laundry in your new house, or draining your first hot bath.

Check each window, door and all the locks

Replacing windows and doors is certainly not cheap, ad it can be a pain if you’re on a budget during your first few months and need to do it yourself. Remember to open, close and lock each door and window to be sure it is fully functional and safe.  While changing a lock isn’t exactly rocket science, if the lock is malfunctioning as a result of a damaged door, it will be the bane of your life until you get it fixed. It’s a scary feeling to leave your home or go to sleep each night knowing that there’s an easy point of entry for a thief, and it’s just something that can be easily avoided, or planned for before you move in.

Check out the water

While it may not have the pure and crisp taste of Fiji water, the first glass you fill up at the kitchen tap should at least be clear. Even if your city provides great water, the pipes in older homes might push a little extra through and leave you with not only undrinkable water, but water that shouldn’t even be used in cooking. If there is a serious problem, ask the owners to have it fixed before buying, or see if they’ll take off a little from the asking price so you can get the pipes fixed yourselves. Even when things do run clear, it still may not taste too well, so be sure to invest in some faucet filters of pitchers to keep in your fridge.

While no house is perfect, these are the things that should run right before purchase and can easily be spotted with your own trained eye, or that of a certified professional that can do the estimates and evaluation for you. There’s no reason to settle while buying a home and knowing what you are getting into before singing on the dotted line is exactly what you and current owner deserve.

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