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Finding the Right Home

When approaching a piece of property you are interested in, look first at the overall picture and then at the details.

NPI Homebuyer Checklist
The perfect house can become the perfect money pit if you don’t take off the rose-colored glasses and take a careful look at the exterior, interior and overall condition of any property purchase. It’s important to take your time, consider the neighborhood, safety issues and maintenance lists you may face in the future.

A systematic approach
When approaching a piece of property you are interested in, look first at the overall picture and then at the details. Begin your review the minute you park the car. Is the home large or small compared to other homes in the neighborhood? What features might hurt/help resale? What is the overall condition of the buildings, landscaping materials and driveways?

Starting on the exterior and working through the interior, work in the same general direction in each space examined – either clockwise or counterclockwise. Examine the structure from roof to foundation and each room from ceiling to floor. Do not overlook closets and cupboards.

Consider the building materials used and the overall condition. Have the walls been newly painted? Are their cracks above doors or windows? Do tree branches overhang the gutter system? Are gutters securely attached? Can you spot holes or cracks in the siding? Are their large bushes or trees next to the home that might provide an easy spot for burglars to hide? Safety is just one item to consider. Other issues might be: the likelihood of water intrusion, general maintenance items, age of mechanical or electrical components, ease of traffic flow, space and energy use.

To help you with your search, we’ve created at consumer checklist for your use.

Home Inspection Checklist

This is not meant to be a complete or exhaustive list of maintenance or safety items. Once you’ve made an offer on a home or business, call NPI for a quote on a full property inspection for your own peace of mind. The checklist is just a great starting point to help you differentiate between several properties you may be considering.

Helping Your Inspector Prepare: Builder’s Warranty Inspections

Have your new home inspected before the builder’s warranty runs out.

Most new homes are sold with a 12-month warranty provided by the builder, although some are shorter, and others may be two years or more. As the end of the warranty period approaches, it’s important to have your home inspected by a professional to ensure that anything covered under the warranty can be repaired before the warranty expires.

An unbiased third-party inspector will look at the exterior and interior of the home, as well as all major home systems. This gives you a better understanding of your home and written information to help smooth communication between you and your builder. To help the inspector provide the most thorough investigation possible, it is important to consider what items might be of specific concern to your home. Consider the following questions prior to your inspection. If any of the items pertain to your home, write down the location of the concern for the inspector:

  • What repairs has the builder done since your move and how satisfied are you with the results?
  • Have you noticed squeaks in the stairs or floors?
  • Have you noticed any windows that don’t work properly, are fogged or are cracked?
  • Have you noticed any faucet leaks or roof leaks?
  • Have you noticed any light switches, fixtures or electrical outlets that don’t work?
  • Are there areas of the home that are warmer or cooler than others?
  • Do you have problems with the shower, tub or toilet?
  • Are there any problems with walls, wall coverings or missing finish touches on wood or fireplaces?

For a printable pdf of these questions and information about preparing your home for an inspection, click here.

 

Moving Safety Tips

When preparing for a move, take care to protect your family, including pets, from start to finish.

When preparing for a move, take care to protect your family, including pets, from start to finish. Remember to secure or remove the following:

  • Poisons — Cleansers, insect sprays and pesticides, medications, chocolate, certain plants and antifreeze.
  • Drain and safely dispose of fuels from equipment before moving. If you must move liquids, pack them in waterproof containers and label them well.
  • Burn hazards — Watch plugged-in appliances like irons, boiling liquids and open flames. Remember, everything is in a new place. Take your time.
  • Electrical hazards — Worn lamp cords or unsafe electrical wiring.
  • Strangulation or choking hazards — Children’s toys, Holiday light bulbs, sewing tools.
  • Unstable boxes — Top-heavy filing cabinets, unstable lamps and towers of boxes can tumble down quickly and hurt overexcited friends, family or pets.

The best advice is to take it slow. You probably didn’t pack in a day, so why try to unpack in a day? A campout in new bedrooms might be fun, and it will give kids a chance to figure out how they want to decorate.

When organizing your new home, safety for the whole family is paramount. This is a new place for everyone and care should be taken.

In preparation for accidents, try to make sure emergency numbers are on hand from the beginning. Call local officials prior to the move and make note of numbers and locations of emergency facilities for both people and pets.