7 Things To Learn From A House’s Basement

While the vast majority of potential homebuyers, pay most of their attention, to areas such as the kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, living and/ or dining rooms, and/ or curb appeal, perhaps the most relevant considerations, can be gained from carefully examining the basement. Although this area of a house, may be far from the most glorious, or attractive one, there’s a lot of much – needed information, one can gain, by closely examining, some of the many components. With this in mind, this article will examine, and briefly discuss, 7 important things, to be learned, from a house’s basement.

1. HVAC and water heater: The heating system of most homes, is located in the basement. It’s where the boiler and burner, and/ or furnace are, and if oil, is the fuel used for heating, the oil tank, is generally, as well. Houses which use water heaters, often have these, also, located in the basement. Inspect these, to get an idea of age of unit, if there are any odors, leaks, or excessive noise. Always inspect these, when the heat is running.

2. Electric panel: One can gain a lot of information by inspecting this. Check how neatly wires enter, and exit the electic panel/ box. Determine the condition, approximate age, as well as the size of this system. Is there 100 amp service, or 220 amp? Is it easily expandable?

3. Water and sewer/ waste pipes: Water and sewer pipes run to the basement, and its the area of the house, where they are most visible. Run the water, and see how it performs. Ask about whether the house has had any history of sewerage and/ or waste back – up, and/ or leaks. Look to see if you notice any visual and/ or visceral evidence of previous issues.

4. Termite damage: Since the basement is where there is some visible wood areas exposed, and also, usually the moistest area of a house, if there are, or have been termites, the evidence, will be seen there. Always inquire if the house has a Termite contract!

5. Any leaks: Check basement ceilings, but also, exterior walls, and near pipes, to see if there is any residual staining, or evidence of previous leaks. Check after a heavy rainstorm, as well after running water, for a little while. Always ask about this.

6. Smell; Odors: Is there any odor os smell, coming from the basement? Does it seem to have, what we often refer to as a moldy smell. Check for any evidence of mold and/ or mildew, etc.

7. Washer/ dryer: In most homes, washers and dryers are located in the basement. Turn the washer on, and examine how it runs through its cycle. Put a couple of wet items into the dryer, and see how well it works and performs.

Basements may not be glorious, but it’s important to pay attention to this area of a house. This is where much of the bones of a house live, and exist!

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