When you first go to rent, lease, or buy a property there are multiple things you need to check for outside of the property before you even enter. Follow this checklist below to make sure you are getting what you are paying for.
Check for ID. When you meet the real estate agent, you want to know who they are. The first question you should ask is “Who are you?” They want your ID, so you ask for their ID as well. It is important to receive proof of ownership or proof of authenticity that they work for the real estate company before you walk inside the house. If not, that is a red flag.
Once they give you a proper idea, you can follow through at the courthouse to double check if they are the real owner. If it is a real estate company, confirm with the company that they work for them.
- Make sure all utilities are on, including the water and the power. If utilities are not, that is a red flag.
- Before you enter the house, walk around and look for broken windows, broken doors, hanging gutters, broken locks, nearby powerlines, and any outside damages.
- Ask questions about how long the roof has been there. The roof is like the hat on your head on a rainy day. If your hat (the roof) has holes in it, then your head gets wet. A leaking roof causes a lot of problems including issues with your sofix wood, dry wall, and mold in the house.
- Check the backyard. If the property has a deck, then check for rotten wood, loose railings, and termites. You can check for termites by looking for dry cocoons that look similar to dark mud patches.
- Check your driveway for wet spots for waterline leaks. Also, check the yard for main supply line leaks, which is the direct line that supplies water to the house. While the water is on, check the water meter outside for a leak detector -It looks like a red star. IF the red star is still spinning that is a red flag that there is a leak either in the house or in the main water line.
- Check for rotten or old trees and limbs around the yard. This can be dangerous because the trees can fall on the house.
- Check around the house for gopher holes and rat holes. Look in the yard and in the basement. Gophers leave a trail, and rats leave droppings. Keep your eyes open for both.
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