Simple checks can help avoid unpleasant and costly surprises.

We are in the season when some of us are considering on purchasing a new home to either upgrade, downsize, and or even become a 1st time buyer. In most cases and especially in today’s times our home is the biggest assets we have. I would like to offer you some tips on what you should be looking for when buying a home.You don't have to be a home repair expert to be sure you won't have unexpected home repair expenses after you purchase a home.

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Top Tips – things not to forget when viewing a property

Is there dampness? The typical signs are a moldy smell, flaky wall plaster, and watermarked walls and or ceilings. Make sure you look closely near the ceiling and around base boards for any signs.

Is the home structurally sound? Big cracks are what you are looking for. If you see major cracks or have any doubts it might be worth getting it checked. If any walls look like they are seriously bowing, consider hiring a structural engineer.

Do the window frames have cracking paint? If you can easily push your finger into wooden window frame, they are usually rotten. If there is condensation between double window-panes it means that they are faulty.

How old is the roof? (Important question to ask) Newer roofs have a life expectancy of only 15-20 years, depending on the materials.

What’s the attic like? People often ignore the attic, but it is an important part of the house. Check for signs of mold. Most "Air Quality Experts" state that 90% of the time, mold in an attic is caused by a damp wet basement or crawl space. An untreated basement or crawl space can cause moist damp air to continously rise up into the upper levels of the home.

Is there sufficient drainage in the area? Check the slope of the property around the house. Property that slopes away from the foundation can help avoid extra water. Water that collects around the home can cause basements to leak and or even cause severe structural problems.

Heating System Old heating systems can be expensive to replace and expensive to operate. Furnaces can last 20 years or more, but some models will begin to break down after 10 years or more.

Windows Check for newer double-paned windows. They provide ease of operation, easy of cleaning, and energy efficiency.

Basement If you've ever lived in a home with a leaky basement, you know the fustration and probably won't want to deal with it again. Be sure to check carefully for water marks and other signs of a leaky basement. Once water begins to leak into a basement it is usually better to add a system to manage it rather than trying to stop it from coming in (which is often a unsuccessful effort). Studies have shown that people who occupy damp buildings are at an increased risk of health problems.

Insulation A well-insulated house can help keep you warm in the cooler months and reduce energy costs.  

Doing some of these simple checks can help avoid unpleasant and costly surprises. It's also important to work with a highly qualified real-estate agent and equally important to hire a quality home inspector. For Basement or Crawlspace Repair, inquire about a Healthy Basement / CrawlSpace Certificate which can provide homeowners with the reassurance that the work performed in the home, adheres to a level of quality, which delivers expected results.

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