5 Things To Check Before Buying A House | Wentzville, MO

Buying A House | Wentzville
Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash

Are you buying a house in Wentzville or another local town in the new couple months? Then there are a few things you should always check before making an offer!

The Layout Of The Land

Before you even take a step inside the house, take a look around the outside and get a feel for how it’s laid out. Look for potential problem areas or plants or trees that may cause you issues down the road.

For example, think about how water would drain when it’s raining. Does it funnel away from the house, or does the slight hill feed it back into your foundation? If the house has a basement, then your sump pump (what keeps your basement dry) will be working overtime if the water just comes right back to the house.

Or maybe there’s a large tree close to the house. It’s healthy and strong, and will provide a good amount of shade during the summer, but there’s a dead branch directly above the roof. It might not be a problem – we’ve seen dead branches stay up forever and healthy branches come down during a storm – but it’s a potential issue that would be wise to keep in mind when considering a house.

Here are a few more things to look out for: unusual muddy spots in the yard that don’t seem to dry up well, high maintenance shrubs or greenery in the landscaping,

Of course, don’t let a minor issue keep you from an otherwise dream property! But it’s good to thoroughly survey the land to keep you from unnecessary surprises.

Engage Your Senses

While you’re already outside, take a quick moment to stop and smell the roses, so to speak. What can you hear? What do you see? Do you smell anything unusual? Then repeat again once inside.

The sounds you hear now are the sounds you’ll hear if you live there. What you see now will also largely be what you see when you live there. And again, what you smell now will be what you smell then.

If there’s something that bothers you now, it will probably bother you then.

Musty Smell = Red Flag

You’re liable to smell any number of things when walking into a house – scented candles, freshly baked goods, ghosts of yesterday’s dinner – as well as some maybe not so nice things – pet urine, cigarette smoke, etc. Each smell tells you something about the current owners and the care they’ve taken of their home.

Beware of two specific smells though:

  1. Overpowering scents throughout
  2. Musty or Moldy smell

For the former, it could just be someone who really likes the smell of listeria scented candles, but sometimes it might be a clue to an underlying issue. Are they trying to cover the smell of something else?

If you smell mold though, that’s an immediate red flag. It usually means either one of two things: they had a water issue that they fixed but didn’t remediate properly, or there’s a current issue that could be costly. Before buying a house, a Home Inspector will be able to tell you more about any potential concerns that a property might have, as well as tell you if anything would need to be fixed ASAP.

It’s A Good Day In The Neighborhood?

Back outside, check out your neighbors. Do they take care of their properties? Are there any homes nearby in disrepair? Does the road appear to be in good shape? Is there plenty of parking for everyone?

Up On The Housetop

And last, but not least, take a peak at the roof of the house. If it appears old or in rough shape, it most likely will need to be replaced sooner rather than later, and depending on the size and layout of the house, that can be a considerable chunk of money. Any water spots on the inside of the house can indicate a leak in the shingles, which may need professional remediation after the roof is fixed.


Buying a house is an exciting and big step, and with a little caution and some detective skills, you can minimize the risk of being caught off guard with unforeseen expenses.

If you need a Handyman or a registered Home Inspector to repair or inspect your house, contact Josh at Firm Foundations Home Improvement today! Request a FREE quote and get $10 off your next service here.