‘Tis the year to find the home of your wildest dreams. Whether you’re new to The Peach State or you’re a local, it’s your destiny to find the right home at the best price. However, before you make an offer, find out what to look for when buying a home in Georgia.
This list is far from comprehensive, but it gives you a quick overview of the most important things to look for in a home. As always, please work with an experienced home inspector to ensure the safety of your new house! If you need any help, we are standing by to offer painting services, siding installation, and more.
Keep an Eye Out For Structural Issues
Uneven Floors May Indicate Foundation Issues
Uneven floors in a house can be a telltale sign of underlying structural issues. Such irregularities might result from foundational settlement, where certain parts of a house sink more than others over time. This can be due to soil erosion, water damage, or poor initial construction techniques. Additionally, wooden support beams that have suffered from rot, termite damage, or prolonged moisture exposure can weaken, leading to sagging or sloping floors. Recognizing and addressing uneven floors is crucial, as they can be indicative of more significant, hidden problems that compromise the safety and integrity of the entire structure.
That said, a structural engineer or qualified inspector may note that settling around an older home is natural, and just because your foundation has settled a bit, it doesn’t mean that your house is structurally unsound.
Bowing Ceilings and Cracked Walls
If you see dips in your ceiling, or if there are cracks in your stucco walls (or if your drywall is becoming detached), you might have framing issues or foundation work that needs to be addressed.
Is There Water Damage in the Basement?
Water is the homeowner’s enemy – always. Do you have broken window well guards? Are there streaks below the windows in your basement? Is there mold, rust, or sediment on the concrete floor? All of these and more can indicate past water damage in your basement.
Firstly, you will need to have a professional contractor remove the mold in your basement. But after that, you will need to:
- Grade the exterior of your home, and perhaps add swales, to move water away from the home
- Clean or install new gutters and downspouts
- Repair any cracks in the foundation wall that may have been the result of water damage
- Build a French drain around the exterior of your house
- Install a sump pump in the basement
Water can make it impossible for you to finish the basement, and the hydrostatic pressure can destroy your foundation. This is one of the most important things to look for in a house.
How is the Electric in the House?
Hire a professional inspector to take a look at the wiring and electrical technology in your home. If circuits are double-tapped, if your have live wires, if your outlets are outdated, or if there are other issues, you could be endangering your family. Many times, electrical fixes are not very expensive or time consuming, so call an electrician asap.
Dead Trees Surrounding the House
North Georgia is beautiful and wooded, but large trees can lead to large problems. For instance, if you have a large dead treat with branches over your house, you may need to allocated $3K or so just to safely cut down that tree. A storm could cause the tree to fall on your home, or falling branches may break windows and crush shingles.
Inspect Your Windows and Doors
As the leading window replacement contracts in Alpharetta, we see homes every week that have faulty or outdated windows. Fogginess between the pains, frames that are warped or rotted, or other problems can let bugs in and ruin your HVAC efficiency.
Door installation is another important and costly item to check off the list. Doors can rot, need to be shaved because of foundational shifting, or require other maintenance to prevent air passing in and out of your home.
How is the Roof?
Many roofs need to be replaced every 10-15 years, so find out when the last iteration of shingles was placed on the home. you’ll need to check for leaks, missing shingles, damage from trees, rotted wood along the roof, and sagging (the latter being the most expensive thing to fix). If the roof is old, start setting money aside to have it replaced before it becomes a problem.
Termites and Rodents
Get a qualified inspector to look for wood damage that comes from termites and other wood-consuming insects. If you are in a competitive market, you may not be able to use that as a negotiating chip, but you will at least know to budget for an exterminator.
Rodents are also important — looks for signs of droppings, nests, and holes around the exterior of your home and attic. A field mouse only needs the tiniest gap to find its way into your home.
How is the Driveway, Patio, and Deck?
Our concrete coating contractors in Alpharetta help homeowners treat concrete floors with durable polyurea coatings, and we’ve often helped sellers improve the value of their home before putting it on the market. Your driveway may also have cracks and require a re-sealing of the pavement — for a large driveway, you may need to budget $2K-$4K. Decks that are structurally unsound, patios with bad slopes or loose paver stones, and more — this will cost you money down the road.
Check the Appliances
Checking the appliances is crucial. This ensures the home doesn’t have issues. While you’re looking through the kitchen, basement, and garage, make sure any new additions—such as new lights and the garage door—work efficiently.
Additionally, check that these items also work:
- The Microwave
- The Dishwasher
- The Washer and Dryer
Call Bear Mountain For Many of the Most Common Home Repairs
As the leading house painters in Alpharetta and the entire surrounding area, we’ve helped many people who are buying or selling a home make necessary improvements. From house painting services in Roswell to garage floors in Cumming, we would be happy to offer a complimentary quote to you.