4 Types Of Damage To Watch For When Shopping For Your First Home

Being a first-time homeowner is no easy task, and choosing a new home can seem daunting for many young buyers. Nobody wants to invest in a home only to find out that they put their hard-earned cash into a never-ending pit of repairs, or worse, find out that the house they just purchased might be downright dangerous to live in.

By knowing what to look out for, however, some of these pitfalls can be avoided and new buyers can rest a bit easier. Check out this list, and find out what kinds of damage you should be looking out for when you go see that potential future home.

1. The Roof

Roof damage can be devastating for homeowners. Leaks from cracks can ruin furniture and wallpaper and seep into the walls and wreak havoc on wiring. New buyers should ask when the roof was last inspected, and shouldn’t be afraid to climb up there and take a look for themselves.

Once there, the buyer should keep an eye out for any missing shingles or debris. Inside the house, buyers should be sure to scan the ceilings of rooms on the upper floors too, to uncover any signs of potential water damage.

2. The Plumbing

A leaky roof is not the only way a home can receive water damage, and buyers should be sure to look at the plumbing systems before making any sort of commitment. Leaky or frozen pipes can prove to be disastrous, and can easily run up repair bills in the thousands of dollars. To avoid this, savvy first-timers should always bring in a pro to be safe that the piping is sound and won’t cause damage after moving in.

3. The Wiring

Faulty wiring can be a nuisance at best and can cause catastrophic fires at worst, so new owners should always have someone examine the outlets and wiring before coming to any decisions on a property. Additionally, make sure to check the electrical panel to be sure that everything looks in order.

4. Termite Damage

Worried about those pesky, intrusive insects? Then be on the lookout for spongy, sagging floorboards, small piles of what appears to be sand (but is actually termite dung, referred to as "frass"), and more.

The types of issues listed above usually show themselves during the home inspection process, but being on your toes can help you avoid any surprises down the road. And who doesn't love jumping in with a thoughtful question just to prove you're savvy about the things to look out for?

Emma Sturgis is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. For roofing professionals, Emma recommends  Select Exteriors.  To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2