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 Tauscher, Cronacher
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Anthony J. Grieco, Licensed & Registered Architect

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How to Look at the House


"Looking and Evaluating "

are the keys to successful purchasing.

Although the six questions that buyers must ask when evaluating a home,

and other concerns are important tools in the total process,

The simple act of looking at the house and the surrounding area will save you time, money,  and reduce the anxiety and stress associated with home buying.

Simply put- in addition to the location, size and type of home you need and want:

  • If you do not know the difference between a hammer and a screwdriver or do not have the cash available after closing to pay for needed repairs, do not look at homes that are classified as below average condition, handyman specials or foreclosures.

  • If you are looking for a house that you want to customize to your needs and you have a sufficient cash for the needed repairs and additions, do not look at new or recently renovated homes.

  • If you are looking for a fix-it-up type of house or foreclosure, get written estimates for all the needed work prior to making an offer.  If after paying all the closing cost you have sufficient cash reserve for the needed repairs and additions,  go for it!

  • If you are looking for the typical home that is between recently renovated and handyman special,  you are in the middle of the buying range and you are looking for the best house in terms of its physical condition within your price range.

  • If you are looking for an older house because it has "character", unless the house has been totally renovated, remember you will be dealing with a lot of "characters" while you drain your cash reserve fund for the needed repairs.

  • If you are purchasing a new home, you need to understand the difference between minimum construction standards and terms like "Built to Code" or "Contractor's Select Quality" verses  "Built to Standards for Good Quality Materials and Workmanship".  
    And remember, except for quality builders, the new home warranty with the definitions of workmanship and tolerances has more exclusions and limitations than items covered.

After selecting the geographic area, school district, style and size of the home (ranch, split level, two-story, 2, 3 or 4 bedrooms, number of baths, etc.)  look at the houses that you are considering.

If something is missing,

the roof ridge is sagging, the roof surface is wavy and worn, the exterior walls are leaning, the front walkway and driveway are a series of potholes and tripping hazards, the basement is an indoor swimming pool because of flooding, there are large foundation and interior wall cracks, the  interior floors have definite slopes and/or are uneven, stairs are leaning and you tightly grab the hand railing as you walk the stairs, then the house
                       is in less than mint condition.  

After purchasing the home, as described above, you will need a large cash reserve fund after closing to pay for the needed work.

After asking The Six Basic Questions and Looking at the House you can the start to answer
the # 1 concern of buyers'- Is the House Structural Sound? (see buyers' survey results).
Use the illustrations in the photo gallery below to identify some of the areas of concern.

This site and links are a general guild to pre-inspecting a home and 
is NOT a substitution for an accurate and comprehensive pre-purchase inspection performed by a licensed Registered Architect or Professional Engineer.
 

Only licensed Registered Architects or Professional Engineers can be engaged to render a professional opinion regarding the stability of a home.  See the section of Selecting a Registered Architect or Professional Engineer  
to perform a pre-purchase inspection and what to expect?


Photo Gallery

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