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Before you buy any residential home, make sure and take a look at these 7 items.

Home buying is the ultimate life investment. That’s why it’s important that a homeowner inspects every square inch of a home’s structure before taking the big leap. We’re not talking the obvious issues here (like the house is clearly leaning to one side, there’s black mold, or the roof makes strange noises). Nope, it’s the little things that can compromise the safety of your family and cause big-digit bills up the road, too. So, before you settle on a number, here’s some important pre home-inspection tips you need to review.

Head up to the roof.
The roof of a house is the most basic form of protection. The condition of shingles, gutters and chimney, along with any previous repairs and patches need looking into. 

Browse the grounds.
Pay attention to hanging branches as well as the condition of driveways, fences and sidewalks. And don’t forget, watering channels and sprinkler systems fall into the landscaping category. If you recently built your home, pay close attention to the details of your landscaping package.

What’s on the outside counts, too.
It’s important to keep in mind certain shrubbery or trees can cause mold, and rot, to the side of a home’s exterior. Also, look at the siding of the house. Take note if the siding was installed correctly, primed or painted, and is ready to face the elements.

How’s the power?
Your inspector should be able to give the OK that the wiring of a home is safe and compliant. Something you can do on the side is go room to room and check each switch for any visible electrical glitches.

Turn on the water.
Don’t be shy, flush the toilet bowls and turn on showers. How’s the water pressure? Are there any strange noises when you turn the handle? Don’t forget to keep a lookout for mold and test dishwasher and washing machines, too.

Go window gazing.
Even double-paned windows, when not installed correctly, can have a serious effect on your comfort and your energy bill. Whether single or double paned, review the quality of the windows. Do they open and close easily? Are some jammed? Is there a draft?

Too hot? Too cold? Or just right?
Believe it or not, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems (HVAC) problems are a common oversight during a home inspection. Make sure a licensed inspector looks inside and can report all HVAC ducts are secure and blowing in the right direction.

Remember, a quality home inspection is worth the time, money and questions. Before you settle on the price, make sure your soon-to-be home is safe and up to code. Don’t let an easily fixed problem turn into a money pit. Feel free to print this list out and review it with your inspector.

Blake Williams