10 Overlooked Things to Look for While Building or Buying a House in Maryland

It’s the time of year when many people are either buying or building a new home. When searching the Maryland property market for your next home, it’s essential to be aware of the things that can go wrong during the construction or purchase process.

This article will discuss ten overlooked things to look for while building or buying a house in Maryland. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be able to avoid any significant problems down the road!

1. Foundation

Everything inside your new property may look perfect, but if the foundation is not up to scratch, it could cause significant problems further down the line, and this doesn’t include your foundation plants. Of course!

Foundation problems occur due to several factors, including poor construction, inadequate drainage, and tree roots. If not caught early, these issues can lead to cracks in bedroom walls, floors, ceilings, doors, and windows that don’t open or close properly and mold growth.

If you’re buying an older home, it’s imperative to have the foundation inspected as it may not have been built to today’s standards. Even if the house appears in good condition on the surface, hidden damage could be expensive to fix.

When building a new home, ensure the foundation is constructed correctly by hiring a reputable contractor. Pay close attention to the drainage around the property and ensure that trees or shrubs are trimmed back, so their roots don’t damage the foundation.

2. Ventilation

A lot goes into proper home ventilation, and if it’s not done correctly, it can lead to various problems. Although airflow might not seem like a big deal while comparing properties, it’s crucial.

Poor ventilation can cause moisture buildup, leading to mold growth, wood rot, and other structural damage. It can also make your home feel stuffy and uncomfortable and contribute to respiratory problems.

If you’re buying an older home, ensure the ventilation system is up to date and in good working condition. If you’re building a new home, include proper ventilation in your plans.

Several different types of ventilation systems are available, so do some research to find the best option for your needs. Have a professional install the system properly on new properties so it works as intended.

Additionally, review moisture levels in potential homes and be sure to address any problems right away. If you notice mold growth or wood rot, have a professional assess the situation and make repairs as needed.

3. Roofing

While a recently replaced roof often signifies a property in good condition, don’t overlook the impact of the front entryway. Incorporating front entryway decorating ideas can enhance the curb appeal and complement a well-maintained roof, creating a cohesive exterior that welcomes you into the home.

Even a new roof can have problems if it’s not installed correctly. Make sure to check for any missing or damaged shingles and leaks around chimneys and skylights. Ensure the gutter system works well to avoid roof damage from runoff water.

If you’re buying an older home, have the roof inspected by a professional before making an offer. If you’re building a new home, make sure that the roof is installed by a reputable contractor who uses high-quality materials.

In addition, be sure to have your roof inspected annually so any problems can be caught early and repaired before they cause significant damage.

4. Wiring

A minor issue with your wiring is easy to overlook but can cause significant problems down the line. If not caught early, faulty wiring can lead to electrical fires, which are extremely dangerous.

To avoid this issue, be sure to inspect your home’s wiring by a professional before buying or building. If you’re purchasing an older home, ensure the wiring has been updated to meet current standards. If you’re building a new home, include high-quality wiring in your plans.

Also, keep an eye out for any electrical problems, such as flickering lights or outlets that don’t work correctly. If you notice any issues, have a professional assess the situation.

5. Plumbing

When most people visit properties for sale, they typically don’t think to check the plumbing. However, you should give this entire system in your home some attention.

Plumbing problems can lead to water damage, mold growth, and other serious issues if not installed or maintained correctly. To avoid these problems, be sure to have your home’s plumbing inspected by a professional before buying or building.

Additionally, keep an eye out for any signs of plumbing problems, such as leaks around fixtures or drains that are slow to empty. Although a plumbing issue might seem minor initially, it can quickly become a significant problem if not addressed immediately.

6. HVAC Systems

An efficient HVAC system ensures year-round comfort, especially in personalized spaces like bedrooms. Incorporating Orange Bedroom Ideas with an optimally functioning HVAC system means your room will look inviting and remain comfortable regardless of the season. An HVAC system can break down prematurely if improper maintenance leads to expensive repairs or replacement.

HVAC systems require professional attention since most homeowners lack the expertise to maintain them properly. Be sure to have your system serviced by a qualified technician at least once a year.

In addition, keep an eye out for any unusual sounds or smells coming from a property’s HVAC system. These could be signs of a problem that should be addressed by a professional as soon as possible.

7. Drainage & Grading

When unfamiliar with the area, it’s easy to overlook things like drainage and grading. However, these are vital considerations when buying or building a property in Maryland.

Poor drainage can lead to water damage, flooding, and other severe problems if not correctly installed or maintained. Ensure a professional inspects the property’s drainage system before making an offer.

You should also ensure that the land is graded away from the foundation of the house. This will prevent water from pooling around the base of the home. It is critical if you live in an area that experiences heavy rains or snowfall.

8. Gutters & Downspouts

Gutter installation is a leading cause of water damage for many homeowners. This is because gutters and downspouts are often overlooked during the construction or buying process.

If not properly installed, gutters and downspouts can cause water to pool around your home’s foundation, leading to severe problems like flooding and mold growth.

Without proper gutter installation, your home is also at risk for water damage to the roof, siding, and windows. Have a professional inspect your property’s gutters and downspouts to install them correctly.

9. Water Intrusion

Seeing signs of water intrusion in a property is often a red flag for many buyers. Water intrusion can be caused by several factors, including poor drainage, leaky gutters, and faulty HVAC systems.

However, signs of water damage are easy for homeowners to hide from potential buyers. If you’re concerned about water intrusion, be sure to have a professional inspection before making an offer on a property.

In addition, keep an eye out for any signs of water damage, such as stains on walls or ceilings, warped floors, or peeling paint. These could be indicative of a more severe problem that should be addressed by a qualified professional.

10. Interior & Exterior Materials

Sometimes, interior and exterior materials don’t match the style of home that you’re looking for. For example, if you’re interested in a traditional home, but the property has been updated with modern materials, it may not be the right fit.

When touring a property, pay close attention to the materials used on the house’s interior and exterior. If they don’t match your taste or style, it may be best to keep looking.

Additionally, be sure to ask about any plans the current owner has for updating the property’s interior or exterior. This will help you better understand what kind of work will need to be done before moving in.


Now that you know what to look for while building or buying a property in Maryland, you can be sure that you’re making the best decision for your needs.

Keep these considerations in mind during your search, and don’t hesitate to contact a professional if you have any questions. With some planning and research, you’ll find the perfect home for you and your family.

Kimberly Tran

Kimberly Tran brings a wealth of knowledge from her 15 years in architecture and urban planning. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a Master's in Urban Planning. She began her career in a top architectural firm before transitioning to property development. Joining our team in 2020, she has since been a driving force in exploring innovative living spaces. Kimberly balances her professional life with a passion for landscape photography and volunteering in community redevelopment programs.

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