OK you’ve narrowed down your list of wants and needs for an Outer Banks property and you have found some homes that meet the key criteria of location and size. It is time to go view homes!
Prior to viewing Outer Banks property it is a good idea to make a list of those items you want to check while in the property. The more time and money spent after the purchase getting the house right, the less value you have with the property. Starting with some major items and going down to items many buyers can fix, here’s a list of things to check when viewing OBX homes.
-Roof: Are the shingles curling or are they flat. The hot, humid Outer Banks summers cause shingles to curl after a decade or so. Curling shingles are close to the end of their life expectancy.
-Siding: Is the siding in need of paint or pressure washing? Are there holes or rot in the siding or corner boards? Has the spaces between the siding and window frames been caulked? Outer Banks winds cause wind driven rain to get behind siding and cause damage.
-Foundation: Is the house built on 8X8 pressure treated pilings? Older OBX homes were often built on smaller pilings. If you are adding on you may have to replace these smaller pilings adding thousands of dollars to your project. Are there obvious slopes in the floor? Settling of homes is fairly common on the Outer Banks. Look for sloping or high spots in floors.
-Windows: Are all the windows free of condensation between the panes? Does the interior of the sashes have mold on them? The Outer Banks environment is tough on windows. Open blinds to inspect their condition.
-Heating and Air Conditioning: Are the exterior units free of rust? Are the filters in the returns clean? Is there mold or dirt around the vents? The closer you get to the ocean the shorter the life expectancy of an HVAC system. The average life expectancy for an ocean front air conditioning system is about seven years.
-Ceilings: It is very common for ceilings in Outer Banks houses built before 2000 to have the tape on sheet rock seams separating from the sheet rock on cathedral ceilings. Prior to 2000, the installers could not figure out how to get the seams to stay in place in this humid environment.
-Electrical: Is the panel in an accessible spot? Are there plenty of outlets and lights? Is the panel full of breakers? A full panel may have to be replaced if you plan an addition.
-Bathrooms and Kitchen: Do they need updating? Are they contemporary colors and styles?
-Floor coverings: Are they dirty or worn? Could you move your furniture in without changing them?
-Paint: Are the colors appealing to you? Are there nail holes in the walls? Is it obvious that the walls have been touched up?
Home maintenance on the Outer Banks can be unique due to the extreme weather homes endure here. Checking on these few items will better help you compare the homes you are viewing to purchase. Scott Team Realty has also put together an Outer Banks House Hunting Checklist. You can view that here.