article from: | March 13th, 2015

Shopping for a home is an exciting time in your life, but it’s also a time when you need to be on the look out for hidden home features. While most sellers will tell the whole truth about a home, occasionally you will run into an individual who is so motivated to sell that they try to hide certain less-than-desirable features.

Kevin Gerkin can recommend some of the best home inspectors in the area. This is such an important step in the purchase of a home and can affect the smoothness of the process and how quickly you can go to closing, or now. Please talk to Kevin before hiring a home inspector.

Potential problem spots that you should look for within each home:

Lack-luster Maintenance

Gutters, peeling paint, cracked fence posts, and poorly maintained walkways are a few of the signs that a house may not have received tender loving care from the current home owners. Once you are inside of the home, be sure to check the floorboards, ceilings, and tile to see if they have been properly maintained.


When you are on a home tour, ask if you can turn the faucets on and off. Checking the faucets will help you to determine if there are any hidden leaks. You also have the added benefit of seeing if the water pressure meets your standards. Additionally, you should flush the toilet to see how quickly the water drains and the bowl refills.

Bad Smells Inside and Outside of the Home

Is the home burning candles in every room? If so, they might be trying to mask an internal smell. If a home has recently suffered from mold or water damage, the sellers could try to mask the smells by burning candles, lighting incense, or spraying room fresheners right before your tour. You should also check the outdoor smells; this is especially important in urban areas, where the local restaurant smells might waft into your new backyard.

The Case of the Freshly Painted Wall

New paint can really spruce up a home, but it can also hide serious problems. Any time that you see a fresh coat of paint, check the surrounding walls for water damage, mildew, or mold. You will also want to check and see if there are any major electrical outlets near the wall. If this is the case, find out if the home recently had any repairs; the answer to this question will help you to determine if the fresh paint is a cover-up or simply the result of recent home-enhancing repair work.

Locked Doors and Off-limit Areas

If any of the rooms are locked or dubbed off limits, be sure to find out why. It is possible that the homeowner is simply a private person and they don’t want you snooping through that area of the home; but, it is always best to find out the true reason they don’t want you in a certain area.

Check All Windows

Windows are both a functional and aesthetically pleasing aspect of a home. With this in mind, check to see if the windows are double or triple paned. Place your hand next to the window to see if any cold air is making its way into the home. You will also want to see if the window has secure locking features.

Ask About Renovations

Renovations are a fantastic way to improve the floor plan of a home; however, as a new home buyer, you want to make sure that the renovations were safely completed. Did they achieve the new open floor plan by removing a load-bearing wall? If so, did they properly adjust the framing? Knowing the answers to the latter questions will help you to determine the structural integrity of the home.

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