Covering the Bases: Home Buying

Posted by on Tuesday, November 20th, 2007 at 11:30am.

Buying a home can be one of life's biggest financial rewards. It has the potential to serve not only as your home for many years, but also as the basis of your financial portfolio. For this reason, you should never jump into a home purchase. It simply makes sense to take your time and ensure that you are getting what you are paying for. Since a home has many systems that are all subject to stress, wear, and deterioration, there are a few things that should be examined closely before purchasing any property. These areas apply to older homes as well as newer homes.


Homes inspections are the best way to ensure that the home you are considering buying is sound. We cannot stress the importance of getting a home inspection enough. Also, be wary of sellers who want to have the inspection process skipped. In skipping this process you could be buying a huge problem. There are a few things in particular that you should have the home inspector check for:


 Mold and Mildew - In previous years this never seemed to be a huge issue. However, in recent times it has become a hot button issue with many buyers due to the health concerns concerned with mold. Mold is fairly insidious and can thrive in the most unlikely of places. All mold really needs to live are organic material (like wood) and a source of moisture (which is usually attributed to a leak or a crack in the home).


Plumbing - With pipes and water running through almost every wall in a home, it is essential to ensure the home’s plumbing is working properly. Faulty plumbing can be costly to fix and can lead to problems with rotting, mold, and other unsafe living conditions. Leaky pipes can also lead to extensive home repairs, and some sellers will try to cover up water damage with new paint - so be sure to have the plumbing checked.


Electrical - This is a problem that has two different sides. Older homes can have wiring that is outdated, worn, or is not sufficient to handle the high power draw of modern appliances. Conversely, new homes sometimes have slipshod wiring that has shorts and faults. These can all be large fire hazards and quite detrimental to a home's safety.


A complete home inspection should cover these bases. So, have a complete home inspection done on any property you are considering, and have professionals check through the various systems if necessary. We can’t emphasize enough the importance of a home inspection! And, when you get your home inspection report, be sure to look through it to see in particular what is said about the areas mentioned above.

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