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5 Area’s in a Home That Cause the Most Problems

Thursday, January 29, 2009 posted by Tommi Crow



Buying a home can be exciting and a little scary at the same time.  Fortunately, you can save yourself a lot of money and trouble by focusing on the 5 Area’s of a home that cause the most reported problems.

5 Trouble Spots You Should Pay Close Attention To

  1. Attic:  It is amazing what you can learn about the structure of a home by looking in the attic.  You can easily see the framing, the condition of the roof and decking, and the insulation or lack of it.  The attic is also a great place to find evidence of leaks, past or present, and any mold issues that may have resulted.  Tip:  If you see new insulation in some area’s, it usually means there has been a leak there at one time.
  2. Electrical:  The electical system is a commonly reported problem in older homes and new construction.  The best and safest advise here is to rely on the expertise of a good home inspector.
  3. Foundation:  Foundation failures are expensive problems to fix.  In addition, they can cause other problems that may be hard to detect.  Although cracks do not always indicate a big problem, you should key in on any cracks in the foundation or siding.   Watch for root invasion from tree’s that are planted to closely to the house.  Also, check to be sure that all the doors and windows open and close properly.  If not, it may indicate that the foundation is or has shifted.  A professional home inspector will be very helpful in determining issues with the foundation.
  4. Landscape:  Landscape can be a huge selling feature for any home and it can be an indicator of  potential problems.  If landscaping has been planted closer than 12 inches from the foundation, it is too close to the house.   When plantings are too close, they can cause moisture problems and cracks in the foundation.  Vines which creep up the sides of the house can push siding and brick away from the stucture, weaken mortar and cause staining.  Large tree roots can upheave sidewalks, decking, porches and damage the foundation.  Landscape beds should be elevated and sloped to drain all water away from the house and foundation.
  5. Plumbing:   Water leaks are often hard to see and cause of a lot of expensive problems later on.  In addition to undermining wood surfaces and flooring, leaks also result in mold issues that are difficult to treat and expensive to cure.   Tip:  Always look closely underneath sinks and plumbing fixtures to find evidence of mold or past water damage.  Tip:  Don’t forget to move the refrigerator out and look behind it.

The best advise when buying a home is don’t scrimp on your inspector.  Hire a licensed, professional home inspector and follow them around throughout the entire inspection.  The more you know about the condition of the property, the better off you will be.  Remember that common sense, due diligence and a good inspector are invaluable and can help you avoid most of the costly mistakes.

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