If you wish to buy a home in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, or the surrounding area, you will, ideally, invest in a home inspection that should reveal any potential issues the sellers fail to disclose. However, while an inspection can reveal major issues such as structural defects, lead paint and mold, it may not uncover issues that fall into gray areas.
Gray-area issues are those that sellers generally do not have a legal obligation to divulge. However, they can still significantly affect property value and your level of enjoyment in your potential new home. Bob Vila explores a few of these gray-area issues and how to uncover them even if the sellers fail to disclose them.
Sunny days are some of the best days to tour potential new homes, as they bring the promise of new beginnings and happy days to come. Yet, sunny days also give sellers the opportunity to hide drainage issues and both past and potential water issues. When touring homes, look for signs of water problems such as cracks in the sidewalk, foundations and retaining walls, and make note of them. Be sure to hand those notes off to the inspector so you can ascertain the true extent of the damage before you make an offer on the home.
It is not uncommon for aspiring buyers to shop for homes in the evening hours and on weekends. While an evening and weekend schedule makes the most sense for most working Americans, it can put buyers at a disadvantage — especially when they show interest in homes located on or near busy roads or highways. If you have interest in a home that is near a highway or airport, know that the property could be subject to disruptive noise, a fact that most sellers may be unwilling to volunteer. To get the best idea of sound levels from nearby traffic, visit the home during peak commuting hours.
If you are like many aspiring homeowners with young children, you may narrow down your home search to neighborhoods in quality school districts. If this is the case, check with the local city council before making an offer to ensure that it does not plan to make zoning modifications that will affect school districts, as this is information sellers will fail to voluntarily disclose.
Possible future development
Many people willingly pay top dollar for a scenic view, even if the home itself is ho-hum. Imagine going all in, though, only to learn that the plot of land next door belongs to a developer who plans to build up and out. In addition to blocking a possibly great view, new construction can indefinitely disrupt a neighborhood’s peace and quiet and negatively impact residents’ safety and quality of life.
These are just a few issues that many sellers attempt to hide. By working with the right professionals, you can be sure to uncover gray-area issues before you make an offer on a home.