Buying a house is a big decision, and it’s an even bigger investment. The very last thing you want to do is buy a house that will cost you more money in upgrades and maintenance than it will in the total purchase price.

Unfortunately, though, many homeowners fall victim to buying a house that appears fine to the untrained eye, yet has expensive problems lying underneath the surface.

It’s very important that you have a home inspected before you buy it, as a professional inspector may notice things that you didn’t. However, inspectors are not required to do thorough and deep investigations. In fact, some inspectors are only allowed to look for surface problems, meaning problems that can be noticed without looking too deep into areas like attics, basements, plumbing, electrical, etc.

Buying House

For this reason, it’s very important that you become familiar with certain things to look for when buying a house that you or your inspector may have otherwise not noticed. Be sure to train yourself on the following when choosing your next home.

The Foundation

The foundation is the root of your home, and if there are problems with the foundation, it could create more problems throughout your home, including with water pipes, gas pipes, and general structure. Be sure to thoroughly inspect the foundation of your home before you decide to buy it. Go into the basement and look at the foundation from the inside. Check all walls and corners and look for signs of stress, such as cracks or broken bricks. You could also look for signs of water damage, which is generally a sign of a damaged foundation.

Along with checking the inside, be sure to walk along the outside of the home too and look closely at the foundation. Do you notice any exterior cracks or any previous repairs to the foundation? Do you notice any broken mortar or caulk? Any distress to the foundation can be a serious problem, so be sure to have any questionable areas looked at by a professional to determine the seriousness of the problem.


Poor plumbing can be a serious and expensive problem to fix, which is why it’s very important that you take your time to look at all the plumbing throughout the house. Open cabinets and vanities and look at the pipes under sinks. Look for signs of mold or rot. You should also be sure to run the water in every part of the house, including sinks, showers, tubs, toilets, and even washing machines. Look for signs of poor water pressure or even clogs.

If you’re not comfortable looking on your own, or if you notice any problems, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber. According to A and B Plumbing in Culver City, a professional will “measure water pressure, do toilet and boiler maintenance, and even prepare a filter pool for use.” And if they do notice problems, they will be able to tell you the severity of the problem as well as how much it will cost to fix. You can then use this information to determine if this is the right house for you to buy.


Electrical is another area that should be thoroughly inspected before purchasing a home. Old or damaged wires could cause a fire, and this is definitely not something you want to experience. Be sure to check all electrical throughout the house. Turn on every light and pay attention to any flickers or lights that don’t work. You should also become familiar with the circuit breaker and determine if you see any issues. Again, if you’re not familiar with electrical or if you notice some potential problems, call in an experienced electrician. They will be able to further assess the home’s wiring and electrical to determine if it’s safe and up to code.