Everybody has their dream home. Most homebuyers have their list of must-haves and things that are a complete deal breaker when purchasing a home. You should pay special attention to the following criteria when considering purchasing a used home.
Asbestos has not been used as a building material in residential homes for decades. However, if you purchase a home built before 1980, there is likely some asbestos in it. Asbestos is harmless until it becomes airborne. The only way to know if the home you purchase has asbestos is to send some of the material from the home to a laboratory.
Just because the used home of your dreams has asbestos does not mean that you have to cross it off your list. However, you will want to work with professionals to remove or isolate it to protect your health.
2. Electrical Problems
As you walk through your perspective used home, turn the lights on and off. You could be dealing with electrical problems if you see that they flicker. Older homes were not designed for the amount of electricity modern homeowners use.
If there is faulty wiring or the house has the old knob and tube wiring method, it is not only a potential fire risk but your home may not be covered by homeowners insurance. Before purchasing a used home, have a professional examine the electrical network. Determine the cost of bringing the network up-to-date to decide if it’s worth buying the used home.
3. Lead Paint
Houses built before 1978 may have several layers of lead paint on the walls. It was not until 1978 that lead paint became illegal to sell to customers. Lead paint can cause lead poisoning, which is dangerous for adults and extremely dangerous for children.
If you go purchase a used home with lead paint residue, realize that breaking down lead paint makes particles airborne. You will need to have the proper protection while doing the job.
4. A Damaged Roof
The roof is the most critical structure in your home. Repairing a damaged roof or replacing it can cost you tens of thousands of dollars. If you don’t replace it, a leaky roof can damage your home by allowing moisture in, creating an environment for mold growth, and exposing your electrical wiring to moisture that could cause an electrical fire.
A leaky roof means you spend more to heat and cool your home. Repairing the roof once every 15 to 20 years is typical. But before purchasing a used home with a damaged roof, ask yourself if you are ready to make that investment.
5. Furnace Issues
An essential part of buying a used home is inspecting the HVAC system. You want to listen to any sounds that indicate a problem. Look around the furnace for cracks, rust, dents, water stains, and other symptoms that indicate a problem.
If you notice that the HVAC system is damaged or the furnace does not function properly, this doesn’t mean that you must disregard the home. But you want to factor in the furnace replacement cost when determining if the amount you are paying for the home is right for you.
6. Termite Damage
Termites are amazing insects that have their place in nature. In a used home, though, they can spell disaster. If you’re looking around the property and see buckling ceilings or walls, maze-like holes in wooden features, water damage marks, or mud tunnels in the foundation, you’re likely dealing with termite damage.
A used home with termite damage is expensive to fix. This is because you will likely need to replace all the wood in the house. If the termites have made a meal of the home’s foundation and structure, this can create serious issues with stability. Do not turn a blind eye to signs of termite damage.
Weigh the Pros and Cons of Purchasing a Used Home
There are several benefits to purchasing a used home. Older homes have a lot of character not found in most newer models. Some older homes, because of their age, condition, or the location where they were built, are a lot less expensive than their more contemporary counterparts.
Still, you need to be aware of what lurks below the surface. Perform a thorough inspection before buying a used home. This will not only protect the money you invest, but it will also keep your family healthy and safe.