Buyers Beware PART 1

Buyers Beware PART 1

    Most buyers are not prepared to see the SMALL picture when browsing and previewing homes.   They are usually looking at the BIG picture of the neighborhood, schools, curb appeal etc...  I have put together a small list of items a buyer should be aware of when starting their venture of home ownership.   I will compile over the next few blogs several key things to keep an eye open for when searching for your next home. 

First, there is the construction type.  From the ground up here in South Carolina there are mainly two types of foundations: Slab,  and Crawlspace.  Both are OK, but knowing some of the things to look for is important.  Pay close attention to the way the land slopes around the home and be aware of slopes that may direct water TOWARD the home.  When seeing a home for the first time you need to walk around the home and ask the agent what type of foundation it is.   A slab foundation is a solid piece of concrete, and can crack if not set properly.  Hairline cracks are normal, but a large crack usually means the crack continues throughout the home to the other side. This can shift the entire home and crack tile, flooring etc. inside and must be inspected by an expert.  A few local foundation experts are Mount Valley Foundation Services, and Terratec.  Both will provide free estimates if an inspection suggests further investigation.  Benefits of a slab are much less chance of termite infestation and damage.  Limitations are that you cannot access under the home to add wiring, plumbing, or for maintenance.

Exterior construction types are the next feature to be aware of.  All brick/stone/concrete built walls will have the best thermal value keeping the home insulated better, and are much less maintenance in the long run.  Vinyl siding is a bit cheaper and needs to be pressure washed more often and is less energy efficient.  Hard coat stucco is a beautiful finish and can be colored and textured in many ways. Synthetic stucco gained a bad rap for entrapping moisture and causing extensive damage and thousands of lawsuits.  If you find a stucco home you like, make sure you know the differences and inspect accordingly.  Wood construction is also very popular and is a high upkeep siding and usually needs repainting every 3-4 years.  Cedar siding is also a beautiful look and is a great alternative with the natural thermal insulation and wonderful smell we all know!   Hardy Plank  is a fiber cement siding that has become very popular and is becoming the choice for many builders today.  Many color options and durability make it a great choice for most climates.  

Raise the ROOF!!  The roof is always a big question about a property.  You should always ask how old the roof is, and what type of shingles were used.  Many different styles are used here in the Midlands of Columbia.  The standard shingle is a 3-tab, 25 year shingle. These can be identified by the straight line pattern created when viewing the roof from the ground.  Most inspectors will say that a standard 3-tab, 25 year roof will last approximately 17 years, give or take.  Many factors can affect roof age.   The steeper the pitch of the roof, the longer they tend to last.  Trees overhanging and dropping debris on the roof and not being cleaned off can obviously affect longevity.  Architectural shingles can come in many different varieties from 30 year to 50 year and all different styles and colors.  Architectural shingles can be identified by the layered, or three dimensional look from the ground.  

When walking around the outside of the home, you will also normally see the air conditioner's condenser unit.  It is always a good idea to know the age of the unit, the last time it was serviced, and its current condition.  The HVAC system should be serviced throughout the year by a trusted service company such as ASAP Mechanical or Cassell Brothers.

A Good home inspection and HVAC inspection will provide you the best feedback for all of the above issues, but it should always be on your mind as you browse the potential home of your dreams since these can be the BIG TICKET ITEMS during the sale if you decide to move forward with an offer to purchase.   

Stay tuned for PART 2 of BUYERS BEWARE!!

Steve Slavich   EXIT Midlands Realty       803-556-3215

Steve Slavich Headshot
Phone: 803-556-3215
Dated: January 26th 2014
Views: 1,531
About Steve: Hello!! I have lived in the Columbia, SC area for over 10 years and am a licensed real estate agent ...

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EXIT Midlands Realty
PO Box 807
Chapin, SC