Any real estate agent will tell you that having a professional inspection performed on any Maplewood property you are interested in purchasing is a smart thing to do. This is a significant financial investment that should never be entered into lightly. You inspect everything else before you buy it (car, furniture, clothing, etc). Why should your home be any different? Before you hire a professional inspector, though, you should know what to be on the lookout for as a buyer when checking out a Maplewood home. This checklist should help:
Water/Moisture - Stains on the ceilings or walls, moisture build-up around sinks, faucets and showers, mold/mildew
Basement - Mold, wood rot, leaky pipes, termite damage in the wooden joists (pitted or flaky wood)
Attic - Insulation, termite damage, possible pest issues (holes to the outside), wiring
Appliances - Age, working condition
Exterior - Cracks in foundation, trees located too close to the house, condition of exterior walls
Neighborhood - Condition of other Maplewood homes in the area
Water is one of the most damaging elements in nature. Mold can be dangerous to adults, children and animals if found to be toxic. Poor insulation can mean it will cost more to heat your Maplewood home in the winter and cool it in the summer. Older or faulty appliances may need to be replaced soon after you move in. Cracks in the foundation can be a costly fix. Large trees planted close to your home can lift it off its foundation completely or the root system could burrow into your water pipes, causing costly repairs.
This buyer inspection checklist isn't meant as a substitute for a professional inspection. You are still going to need to have that done. However, using this checklist can help you distinguish a Maplewood dream home from a Maplewood nightmare before you go to the next step. Finding too many potential red flags during a regular walk-through may mean it is time to move on to another home. Let me know when you're interested in checking out some Maplewood homes for yourself.