The process of buying a new home-especially if it's your first time-is incredibly intimidating. And while there are certain things you may know you're going to want to change upon moving in (like paint colors or retiling), if you've never gone through this before you may not know what else to watch out for before you sign the dotted line (just because a home is gorgeous on the outside, it's not impervious to having a bunch of costly-to-fix issues that go way beyond the surface-remember The Money Pit?). Here, via apartmenttherapy.com, a handy checklist of all kinds of things a potential buyer should be mindful of:
1. Check the drains to make sure they're not backed-up. To test, do a load of laundry, fill up the tub and sinks, and try to drain them all at the same time.
2. Open all the windows all the way to make sure they're able to open and shut completely-fixing them is not only a pain, but a financial drain.
3. Turn on all the faucets and make sure they're in working order.
4. Light a fire in the fireplace. While cleaning them is pretty easy (just call a professional chimney sweeper), you should also make sure they draft correctly.
5. Taste the water. Even if the city you live in has great water, if you've got old pipes, they may send out debris into yours.
6. Flush the toilets. Make sure that the toilets are able to flush toilet paper.
7. Open the electrical panel. Watch out for loose wires or ones that simply don't connect to anything, which could be a sign of live wires inside!
8. Turn on the heat/air. Not only do you want to ensure they turn out, but check to see if they heat/cool to their designated temperatures.
9. Pull the carpets back. Peel away a corner of the carpet to verify what's underneath (often there's hardwood under there) and to make sure it's not mildewing.
10. Basement moisture. Check for signs of dampness, not just on the walls, but near things like dehumidifiers, which suck water out of the air.