When the average homebuyer is searching for a new property so much of their effort is focused on spaces like the bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchen. While these are all highly-functional and important spaces, they only represent a small portion. Make sure you aren't overlooking spaces like the basement. Basements can tell a story about a home that can help you see its potential or even forewarn you of a problem. Make sure you know what to look for.
If the floor in the basement is cracked, this is something you don't want to ignore. Floor cracking can often mean that there is foundation damage. If the foundation has settled and started to shift, this causes the floor in the basement to move as well, resulting in the cracking.
Foundation damage lowers the overall structural integrity of a home and introduces many repair needs. If you see this issue, you want to think twice about your purchase and get further feedback to ensure there isn't any damage. Additionally, even if there isn't any cracking, but the floor seems uneven this could also mean foundation damage.
When walking around the basement, you also want to be mindful of any wall discoloration. This is especially the case if the discoloration seems to be in the form of a line and it is located near the lower half of the wall. This problem can sometimes be the sign of water damage or a flood.
If the basement filled up with water at some point the water could have left a permanent stain on the wall. Even if the reason for the flood was resolved, the problem is that water damage can go far beyond the wall surface and there may be mold growth behind the walls. Further investigation is necessary.
It's also a good idea to look beyond what you see in terms of the finished state of the basement. For example, say you've found your dream home and that has everything you want except a guest bedroom and bathroom. If the basement is finished, don't overlook its potential.
A basement in this condition with plumbing connections may be able to be easily modified to accommodate a bedroom and bathroom. In this case, the home can easily be transformed to have everything you want. Make sure you're looking beyond what you see and looking at the real potential of the space.
Make sure you're taking your time when looking at every area of the home. As a significant investment, you want to be confident that you are making the right purchase.