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How to choose a home to buy in MA | 9 Things To Catch Before Buying


If you’re buying a home in MA, there are many things to consider interiorly and exteriorly. While some things may be optional, some are essential to catch before a negotiation occurs.

We prepared a list of 9 Things to catch before buying a house in Massachusetts. Being aware of these things can make a difference and save money.

Before we continue, check out this article about the best places to buy a house in Massachusetts.

  1. Quick Roof Inspection from the attic

  2. Check for water spots and cracks on ceilings and walls

  3. Look for signs of water damage in the basement

  4. Inspect the home’s interior

  5. Survey the yard space

  6. Check for appropriate permits

  7. Ask questions about the home’s history

  8. Make sure the house is well insulated

  9. Have an expert inspect your home before you buy it

1. Inspect the roof from the attic.

It’s important to take a look at the roof from the attic. This is especially true if you have an older house, as there can be leaks or other problems that need to be addressed.

When inspecting your roof from above, look for discoloration and moss growth. Also, check for signs of leakage around vents and skylights and any cracks in rafters or joists. If you can’t access the attic yourself (or with help), call in a professional who has experience checking roofs before making an offer on your house purchase.


2. Check for water spots and cracks on ceilings and walls.

If you see water spots on the ceiling or walls, it could be a sign of leaks. Leaks can happen in various ways:

  • plumbing issues,

  • roof leaks,

  • broken gutters

It’s important to know if there have been any leaks so that you can determine whether or not repairs will need to be made before moving in.

Cracks can also indicate severe damage or neglect on behalf of the homeowner. Cracks in walls may mean there was some structural issue with the house, and thus needs work done. Or it could just mean something heavy was placed above the spot where cracks appear (like an improperly installed chandelier).

Either way, buyers need to know what caused these cracks and how serious they are long-term before making any purchasing decisions

3. Look for signs of water damage in the basement.

It’s easy to miss signs of water damage in your home. Water could get into a basement through cracks in the foundation or even through the walls if they weren’t sealed properly during construction.

  • Look for water damage on the basement walls, floor, and ceiling. If you notice any discoloration or staining on these surfaces, it could indicate that there was some kind of leaky pipe at some point or another.


4. Inspect the home’s exterior.

Windows and Doors

Look for signs of water damage. If there are puddles near windows and doors, or your home is on a hill, this could indicate internal issues such as mold or rot in the wood. Additionally, look at other parts of your house like the foundation. If you see cracks in it, they might lead to bigger problems further down the line.

Gutter System

Take a look at the gutters surrounding the house. You might be able to quickly spot a broken gutter or other signs that the gutters need repair.


Check out all sides of your home when checking paint and siding: Are there any peeling spots? Are there any worn-out patches? Do they look like they will fall off within a few years? This can indicate that it may not be worth purchasing this particular piece of property (or part).

5. Survey the yard.

The yard is the most important thing to consider when considering a house. Look for overgrown trees that may block sunlight, dead or broken branches that could fall on you or your children, and any signs of termites or other insects.

Make sure no animals are living in the yard, such as raccoons or possums, which can make a mess of your home. Check for drainage issues and make sure the soil looks healthy.

If it’s not, consider hiring someone to fix these problems before buying the home, so you don’t have an issue later on down the road!

6. Check for appropriate permits.

Always check any permits that exist for a property before buying. There are a lot of things you should be looking out for, including:

  • Building and electrical work. The most common issues with homes are improperly installed wiring, insulation that doesn’t meet the code, or plumbing systems that aren’t up to snuff. All these things can earn the house an instant trip back to the drawing board if they’re not done properly in the first place—and your wallet will pay for it later on down the line!

  • Plumbing and gas work. If there’s anything wrong with how your pipes are connected or your heating system works (or just about anything else related to water), you could have some serious problems down the road! Make sure everything is done correctly from day one so you won’t have anything like this popping up later on when it’s too late for anyone else but yourself.

7. Ask questions about the home’s history.

Asking questions about a home’s history is important because you want to avoid buying into a home with its fair share of problems. For example, if you’re looking at buying a condo or a house and the current owner tells you that it was previously owned by an elderly individual who might have died there (or even killed someone!), this would be something to pass on.

Also, finding out about old problems that might not be covered in a homeowners insurance claim in case it’s needed.

It’s also good practice to ask previous owners what they thought of living there. If they were happy with their experience, then it will suit your needs too!

8. Make sure the house is well-insulated.

If you’re paying hundreds of dollars a month for heating and cooling costs, it makes sense to ensure that your home is well insulated.

The main reason for insulation is energy efficiency and noise reduction. Insulation reduces heat transfer through your house’s walls, floors, and ceilings and keeps it warmer in winter and cooler in summer. It also helps keep your home dry from rainwater leakage when it gets wet outside or from condensation on cold surfaces inside the house during humid weather (like when there’s an open window nearby).

9. Have an expert inspect your home before you buy it.

Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make. It’s important to do your research and make sure that you’re getting what you pay for.

A home inspection will help ensure that there are no hidden problems with the house before you sign on the dotted line—or, as some of my clients like to say: “it’s better to know about any issues before buying a house than after.”

A professional inspector will look for structural issues and safety concerns in your potential new home, such as mold problems or water damage from leaks (which could lead to more expensive repairs down the road).

The inspector should be certified by a reputable organization such as ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) or NACHI (National Association of Certified Home Inspectors). They should also provide their customers with written reports detailing any defects they discover during their inspections; these reports may include photos showing where problems occur so buyers can decide whether they would want them fixed.



So, before you buy a home, we strongly recommend you do the necessary investigation. There are many things to consider when buying a house and you must know about them in advance so your decision can be informed.

For some extra help, here are 12 Tips for homebuyers moving to Massachusetts (good points even for MA residents looking to buy a new house).

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