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Helping You Navigate Complex Legal Issues

10-point pre-purchase checklist for buying a home

Gregory A. Lang

The last thing you want to do as a homebuyer is purchase a residence that has a severe unidentified problem. Not recognizing a serious problem could cause you a lot of money and stress later on down the road. This article will describe a 10-point checklist that you can use to ensure that you've covered all your bases before investing hundreds of thousands of dollars into a new residence.

The 10-point home-buying checklist:

-- Basement: You'll want to ensure that there aren't any leaks or moisture problems in the basement. Also, check for musty smells and odors. Keep an eye out for leaks in the walls, in the floor or in the plumbing system of your basement.

-- Attic: If there's a leak in the roof, you'll find it first by looking in the attic. Also, check to make sure there's enough insulation in the attic area.

-- Plumbing: Anywhere there's water running through the home, check for signs of leaks. Also, check to ensure that the home has enough water pressure in the faucets and showers. Do the drains work well, or are there blockages?

-- Electrical: Inspect the fuse boxes and breaker boxes. Check all outlets to make sure they're safe.

-- Heating ventilation and air conditioning: Examine the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems to ensure they're in proper working order.

-- Exterior: Check the exterior of the home, including the roof. Do a head-to-toe examination of every part of the home's interior. If anything looks off, have it checked out by an expert.

-- Fireplace and chimney: Be sure that these work properly and are fire-safe.

-- Ceilings, walls and floors: Check for any signs of damage, any signs of water leaks and any areas that may need to be repaired.

-- Doors and windows: You'll want to make sure that all doors and windows operate smoothly and seal out moisture and drafts.

-- Garage: Does the garage door work? How about the condition of the garage? Is it free of damage and does it drain water properly?

Minnesota residents may want to enlist the help of maintenance specialists to evaluate the above checklist. An appraiser can also be of assistance in determining if the price of the home matches its condition. Finally, homebuyers may want to consider the advice of a real estate lawyer to protect their rights during their home purchasing process.

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