Homebuyers: Look for Signs of Poor Maintenance

Maintaining a home is one of the hardest jobs of being a homeowner. Mowing the lawn, picking up leaves, clearing out the gutters and cleaning the siding are not exactly easy chores. And some people aren't cut out for it.

Taking over a neglected home can be costly, so make sure you know what you're buying before you sign on the dotted line.

For instance, flowers in the yard give a house curb appeal, but flowers in the gutters could mean neglected upkeep. If they let their gutters turn into planters, what other chores have they been ignoring?

And don't forget to look up. If you see three layers of roofing, it means it's time to strip off the roofing completely and start fresh. Ask about the age and life of the roof. Replacing the roofing can be costly, especially with slate, tile or wood-shingle roofing.

Here are more telltale signs of poor maintenance:
  • Overgrown lawns with weeds
  • Cracked, peeling or dirty painted surfaces
  • Crumbling masonry
  • Makeshift wiring or plumbing
  • Broken fixtures and appliances

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