Before you buy a home, take a look

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Many people understand the value of hiring a home inspector before they purchase their next residence. But don't leave it entirely up to the inspector, especially when it comes to your future home's foundation. So as you walk in and around the home that you think will be the next place for you and your family to live use your eyes and your hands to ensure you identify any problems the home inspector may overlook. Recognizing early warning signs can save you money in the future and ensure you buy the right home from the bottom up.

As you walk in the home, look for floors that may not be level, sloping floors can indicate a foundation problem. Some people can notice an uneven floor by walking over it. Try walking over an area back and forth a couple of times to see if you can tell for yourself. If you suspect an uneven floor, get on your hands and knees and move your hand over a portion of the floor to see if you can feel an uneven surface.

Make sure you try all the doors and windows. Doors should close properly and latch. Windows should not stick when raising and lowering them. This should be a visit with the realtor either not present or outside waiting in the car.

Also rub your hands over the drywall feeling for repaired cracks. Certainly plenty of repairs to drywall do not necessarily mean you have a foundation issue but cracks in walls are a sign of a potential problem. Just look for cracks in walls as you walk around the home.

On the outside, you need to look form corner to corner from the 4 sides of the home. You should see a straight line. Look at the bricks if appropriate on the home, are they nice and uniform or are they cracked and have gaps?

Around the outside of the home, look for bulges in poured concrete and cracks in the driveway.

Use the poke test and push and poke on anything on the outside if the home's bricks that look like the concrete may be crumbling.

These extra steps will ensure nothing is overlooked when it comes to your next purchase. A repair to your homes foundation can be expensive. Make sure you take a little extra time on the front end to ensure you do not encounter foundation problems in the future.

Information provided by: Foundation Professionals of Florida