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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

Signs of Damage to Spot When House Hunting

Written by Posted On Friday, 14 April 2017 21:24

Purchasing a new home is often a considerable financial commitment, one that new buyers and prospective owners would do well to take seriously. Investing in a property that may suffer from underlying structural issues, infestations or outdated equipment may prove to be a very costly misstep. Learning to identify the most commonly encountered signs of a problem can help to ensure that both novice and seasoned real estate buyers are able to make smarter and more informed decisions.

  1. Mold Infestations
  3. While the presence of mold or mildew within a home may seem like a minor concern, efforts to address and remove a mold infestation may entail considerable time, effort and expense. The presence of mold may also indicate underlying plumbing issues or damage caused by moisture or water intrusion. Certain types of molds may even pose a health risk if not addressed. Common signs of an infestation include musty odors, poor indoor air quality or the presence of discoloration or visible mold growth along floors, ceilings and walls.
  5. Termites
  7. Termites are another potentially serious infestation that homeowners would do well to spot prior to closing the deal on a new home. The damage caused by termites can often be far more serious and expensive than many new homeowners may have thought possible, and these insects may infest even newer homes and properties that have been constructed relatively recently. Being able to spot the signs of a termite problem is an issue that no prospective home buyer should leave to chance. Arranging to have a professional survey the property in order to rule out an infestation or to determine the scope and extent of damages and repair costs can often be the best way to approach the situation.
  9. Damaged Foundations
  11. Even a minor crack within a home's foundation may have the potential to create no end of problems in the days to come. Ensuring that a property's foundation is intact and free of damage should always be a chief priority, especially when considering a property that may be listed for sale by owner or that is less likely to have been assessed or surveyed recently. Over time, issues caused by a damaged foundation may compromise other structural components and construction materials. Given the serious nature of this problem, speaking with a foundation-repair service professional should always be the first step that prospective buyers take should they discover signs of damage. The information that may be produced through a more comprehensive and in-depth assessment is often invaluable for ensuring that a property's market value is able to be accurately determined.
  13. Outdated HVAC Systems
  15. While older model heating and cooling appliances may still be perfectly serviceable, outdated equipment can end up placing far greater strain on household budgets than many owners might think. Having to replace aging equipment in order to reduce heating and cooling costs can quickly become very expensive, especially in situations where vents and ducts may be experiencing problems. Assessing the performance, dependability and functionality of HVAC systems can help to ensure that homeowners are less likely to find themselves confronted with additional costs or future problems that may compromise their comfort or increase the size of monthly utility bills.
  16. Finding the Perfect Home
  17. Discovering an underlying problem with a home does not always have to be deal breaker. Older homes will typically require a little work and savvy home buyers may be able to cite repair costs and home-upgrade expenses in order to negotiate a more agreeable price. Professionals and service providers who will be able to offer more accurate insight into the scope and severity of an existing problem can often be a key asset, one that can help inexperienced home buyers from making any number of very costly mistakes.
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Sofia Belnap

Sophia is passionate about writing in the real estate and home improvement spaces. When Sophia is not writing she loves reading, cooking, and spending time with friends and family.

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