When it comes to buying Portland real estate, people focus on the basic questions: Are there enough bedrooms? Is it in a good neighborhood? How is the school system? While these are important points, you also need to focus on the quality of the house itself as well.

The quality and maintenance of a house can be overlooked when buyers get excited about buying a home.  Fortunately, there are a few areas you can check to get a quick idea of how the home was built and how well it’s been maintained.  These factors heavily impact the value of the home and should be a determining factor for how you offer on a home.

  1. Look at the foundation. A few small cracks may not be a big deal, but multiple cracked areas could spell trouble. Also, try to see the home on a rainy day, so that you can look for water pools that could turn into basement leaks.
  2. Take a look under the kitchen sink and bathroom vanities. Any signs of water damage could mean more serious plumbing issues.
  3. Don’t overlook the utilities. Aging water heaters, outdated furnaces and older air conditioners could mean costly upgrades in the near future.
  4. Peek into the attic. You want to see plenty of insulation, neatly run electrical lines and absolutely no sign of any moisture. If something looks off to you, make sure your home inspector really checks out the area.
  5. Inspect the sidewalk, driveway and deck. Landscaping, concrete and wood decking in need of repair can lead to big bills down the road.
  6. Examine everything you can see on the outside. Look at what you can see of the roof. Are there any shingles missing? Has part of it discolored? Are the gutters in good condition? Also, examine all of the brick and siding.
  7. Open the electrical box. You want to see everything neatly organized and the area each breaker covers clearly indicated.

Remember, buying a home is a huge investment. Don’t let your emotions get in the way of an informed decision.  Do your research and have everything checked out by a professional.