It's no secret that buying a home is a huge investment. As such, when spending your hard-earned money on a home, of course you want to make sure it's in good condition and that it has been properly maintained over the years. While there's no way to guarantee that a home you're thinking about buying won't ever run into any major problems, there are some signs you can watch out for that could indicate the home has been well-maintained by its current or previous owners.
Great Curb Appeal and Landscaping
Homeowners who are proud of their homes will make sure that this pride shines through not just on the inside, but on the outside as well. A lawn that is meticulously landscaped is typically a sign that the current owners put a lot of care and effort into maintaining their property. The same goes for a home with great overall curb appeal (power washed exterior, freshly painted mail box, etc.).
Detailed Service Records on Major Components
When you're touring houses for sale, take a close look at the major components such as the furnace, air conditioning unit, and water heater. Do they have any service stickers or records taped to them? If the current owner has been keeping up with routine inspections and tune-ups, they should have records. A homeowner who has these major components serviced each year is likely going out of their way to care for the home, so don't be afraid to ask for this documentation if it's not readily available.
Fresh Air Filters in the HVAC Unit
If you're able to access the HVAC filter without the need for special tools, take a quick peek at it during your tour of the home. Is the filter clean or dirty? If it's clean, then this means the homeowner is taking care of at least some of the most basic home maintenance tasks. A dirty filter, on the other hand, should be viewed as a red flag; because it only takes a few seconds (and a few dollars) to swap out an air filter, a home with a dirty filter has likely been neglected in other areas as well.
Great Home Inspection Report
Perhaps the best way to find out how well a home has been maintained is to pay for a professional inspection. While a home will likely never have a 100% "clean" inspection report, a report without any major issues reported can give you a lot of added peace of mind when buying.