Purchasing your first home can be exciting. Not only is it the single largest purchase you may make in your lifetime; it’s also a symbol of independence. For most people, it is the beginning of another chapter in your life: raising a family. As you look for your new home, don’t get carried away and buy the first one that strikes your fancy. Check first that the home doesn’t have these problems.
This could be immediately visible as viewed from the outside. But some homes have smaller, less noticeable damage on their roofs and gutters that you may not notice from a casual inspection. Do a more thorough inspection with the help of a qualified professional to check for any holes, cracks, damaged shingles, or other problems with the roof.
Hold off buying a home that has had any problems with the roof, especially if the damage has been ignored for some time. A leaking roof can cause other issues you may not be aware of, such as fires caused by exposed electrical wiring shorted by rain or wood rot that leads to mold spores that can trigger allergies or cause more serious health issues.
Damaged or Clogged Gutters
An equally important red flag surrounding a home’s roof is damaged or clogged gutters. Gutters that fail to redirect rainwater from your roof to a drain can cause serious damage to the surrounding landscaping. Erosion of the soil can occur, and, worse, the water can flood the basement and ruin the home’s foundations. Once the foundations are weakened by the constant pooling of water, you can bet that the repairs needed will cost you a pretty penny.
Another problem that can result from blocked gutters is that this can become home to pests. Blocked gutters can encourage large insects to move in and attract larger predators. Birds and rodents may be encouraged to nest there and attract snakes to prey on them. Insects such as wasps, hornets, and bees may even take up residence and build their colonies in the home’s clogged gutters.
Leaky or Flooded Basement
If the gutters have been fixed but the basement is still flooded, it can be due to leaky pipes, an ineffective drainage system, improper tile and wall sealing, sump pump failure, or a damaged hot water tank. Whatever the cause of the flooded basement, do not purchase the home. Perennial flooding of the basement will surely weaken the home’s foundations and pose a serious safety risk. Repairing the foundations, as mentioned above, will surely be expensive.
As you inspect the exterior, do you notice any insects such as bees, wasps, or hornets? If you do, their colonies may be close by. Colonies of these insects are in the thousands, and they can pose a health hazard if you or any member of your family is allergic to their stings. Should most of your family members be old enough to understand that they’re supposed to give these critters a wide berth, a pest control expert can be hired to fix the problem. As long as this is the only issue with the home, you have the option to proceed with the purchase or look for a pest-free home. But if you have small children, it’s best to pass on this one.
While it’s true that some homes may come with their share of issues, you should never compromise on your safety or hope that these issues can be repaired later on. If you find issues like these in the home you’re considering, it’s best to find a better option, or you could end up paying for it in more ways than one.