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Home > Home Buying Tips > How to Avoid Buying a Bad House

How to Avoid Buying a Bad House


If you are considering the purchase of a home it is important to keep in mind that you should not only know what to look for but what to avoid as well. Many homeowners discover after the fact, when it is too late, that they overlooked items which frequently result in buyer's regret. To make sure this does not happen you, it is imperative that you learn what to avoid when buying a home.

The first thing that should be kept in mind when looking for a house is that while generally a new home will offer more advantages over a resale home, even new homes can have problems and defects. The good news is that most problems in a new home can be corrected. Before you purchase a new home; however, you must make certain that you understand the warranty that is offered by the builder and make sure you go ahead and have an inspection performed on the home just to make sure that no serious defects are overlooked.

When buying any home it is important to make sure you avoid any home that appears to have mold and moisture problems. Now, with that said, it should be noted that all homes will have had mold or mildew at some time. That is just a simple fact of life. When a home has excessive mold and moisture; however, the home can become ruined. This is because excessive mold and moisture can be almost impossible, if not completely impossible, to remove. Some homes with severe mold and mildew cannot be repaired at all.

Homes with radon should absolutely be avoided. Radon is a naturally created gas in the rock and soil of the earth's surface; however, some reports indicate that residents who live in homes with radon may be at an increased risk for developing cancer.

Of course, homes with asbestos should also be avoided. For a number of years, it was routine for asbestos to be used in materials such as insulation, fireproofing, floor tile and roof shingles. When asbestos related materials are in good condition, it usually does not cause any problems. When it deteriorates; however, the particles can become air-borne and result in a fatal lung disease.

Always make sure you know whether the home contains any lead based paint. In most homes built before 1978, lead based paint was used. Lead based paint can result in brain damage to children who accidentally ingest it. If the paint is in good condition it is usually not a problem. You are entitled to have a lead-based paint inspection performed on the property.

It is also a good idea to avoid homes that may have formaldehyde and carbon monoxide. Formaldehyde can be a problem in manufactured home which may contain materials manufactured with formaldehyde. Formaldehyde has been known to cause dizziness, rashes, headaches, throat irritation and coughing.

Carbon monoxide can result from wood stoves, kerosene heaters, water heaters, gas stoves and fireplaces that are malfunctioning. It can be deadly. The easy way to detect and solve this problem is to install a carbon monoxide detector.

Defective well water should also be avoided. If the home you are considering relies on well water make sure that your offer contains a contingency clause that is based on a test of the quality of the well water.

You should also check to make sure that the home's septic or sewer system is in good repair. If the home relies on a septic system, be sure it is located a good distance from the home.

Although tests on the subject of high-voltage power lines have been inconclusive, you may also wish to avoid homes which are built near high-voltage power lines. If for no other reason, the presence of high-voltage power lines should be avoided due to the impact on the home's value.

Additionally, make sure there are no property and boundary disputes regarding the property before you purchase it. This can result in numerous problems which are often more of a hassle than the property is worth.

Finally, avoid any homes with problems that might affect the desirability of the property including location in a high crime rate district, poor quality public school district or an area that is noisy or has little public transportation.

Remember that while no home is perfect, taking the time to watch out for and avoid homes that have serious problems can help to ensure you purchase a home you will be happy with for a number of years into the future.


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