Tips for Buying a Safe Home
Buying a home can be a wonderful and exciting experience,
but today homebuyers are realizing more than ever before just how much of a
commitment they are making when they do make the move to buy a home.
Not only are you committing to making mortgage payments over the course
of several years, but you are also committing to the upkeep and maintenance
of that home. If something goes wrong with the house or you discover after
the fact that there is a serious hazard, you cannot simply pick up the
phone and call the landlord to repair it. You bear the sole responsibility.
Toward that end, it is imperative to make sure you fully investigate a home
before you purchase it to be sure you are aware of any potential health
hazards it might pose.
In today's modern world we are learning more and more about
the many potential hazards a home can hold, including lead, mold and radon.
Such toxins can not only be a headache and a hassle to deal with, but they can
also seriously impair your health and can be even potentially fatal.
Most people today are aware of the dangers associated with
carbon monoxide. Before you buy a home, always make sure it is equipped with not
just smoke detectors, but also carbon monoxide detectors as well. Carbon
monoxide is known as the silent killer for a reason; you won't be able to
detect this gas until far after it is too late. Many local areas actually have
regulations regarding how many carbon monoxide detectors should be in a home
and where they should be placed. Check your local rules and at the very least
be sure you have detectors near all of the bedrooms in the home.
It is also a good idea to spend some time learning as much
as you can about the heating system and the appliances in the home. This is
because appliances that burn fuel act as a source for producing carbon
monoxide. If they are not vented and maintained in a proper manner, you can
have a serious and possibly deadly situation on your hands. Before you commit
to buying a home, find out when equipment such as water heaters, furnaces,
wood-burning stoves, gas dryers and gas rangers were last replaced and
Many people do not stop to consider radon when buying a
home, but it can be a serious issue. Before moving into a new home, be sure it
has been tested for radon. Remember, radon is colorless and odorless, but the
health consequences can be long-term. It only takes a few minutes to pick up a
testing kit. Most hardware stores and home improvement stores sell them or you
can hire a professional to test your home for you.
Leaky faucets aren't just a nuisance; they can also lead to
a very serious problem with mold. If your new home has wet areas, a musty
smell, high humidity or water stains, you should be wary. Anytime there has
been any type of leak within the home, it is possible that mold may have
developed. Mold doesn't just look bad and smell bad; it can pose a serious risk
to your health.
For many years now, public service announcements have warned
of the dangers posed by lead in a home. Make it a point to find out the exact
age of a home before you buy it. Homes that were constructed prior to 1978 may
contain paint with lead in it. If your home was built before 1950, the chance
that there is lead in the paint is even more likely. You can purchase a lead
testing kit at most home improvement stores that will allow you to test for
lead hazards in your home as well as in the soil.
Finally, make sure you do not overlook the importance of
having your home tested for pests. This should ideally be done before you
finalize the purchase. In many areas, you can make the purchase contract
subject to the outcome of the pest inspection. If your home is infested with
certain pests, such as termites, it can be time consuming and expensive to
rectify the problem. You are much better off knowing in advance so you can
re-negotiate or possibly even pull the plug on the deal if the infestation is
too serious. In many cases, the sellers may be willing to lower the sales price
or cover the cost of treatment based on the outcome of the pest inspection.