While many older homes have wonderful characteristics, they can easily turn into money pits if you do not inspect certain areas before buying them.
Here are three important areas to inspect before buying an older home:
The Plumbing and Piping
Bad plumbing and piping is one of the biggest problems homeowners face when they buy older homes. Plumbing that leaks causes harmful mold and destroys stucco and drywall, and leads to pipes corroding. The best way to check for plumbing/piping issues is to look for water stains or corrosion on the walls. You should pay close attention to the walls and backing in showers and bathtubs. Any sign of moisture is a surefire sign that there are problems with the plumbing. If you have any questions, get in contact with professionals like those at Clean Plumbers by Phillip Maurici Plumbing Inc before buying an older home.
It is critical for you to find out exactly how old the electrical wiring is in the house. The majority of older homes still use the knob-and-tube wiring. This wiring poses a dangerous fire risk, especially in the attic where insulation often hides knob-and-tube wiring. Although the system probably works, it was not built to handle the amount of electricity consumers use today. When inspecting a home’s electrical system, the best place to find knob-and-tube wiring is in the basement.
You must also inspect the breaker panels in older homes for any deterioration or signs that arcing or burn marks exist. Unfortunately, many consumers who buy older homes are under the impression that breaker panels last a lifetime and there is no need to check them. This mindset can lead to dangerous electrical conditions and fire hazards threatening the safety of any home.
When checking the ceilings of an older house, it is vital to look for any type of sagging or water stain marks that look like little clouds. A ceiling that sags with a parachute appearance is a sure sign that the roof is leaking. Water stain marks on the ceiling could signal that mold exists in the attic. Depending on the size and square footage, those problem areas could cost tens of thousands of dollars each to repair.
Before buying an older home, consult with a professional home inspector and obtain a detailed report outlining each problem area. Most banks and mortgage companies require that borrowers or sellers of property obtain professional home inspections before they approve any financing, and you’ll be able to catch any possible safety risks in time.
Dixie Somers is a freelance writer who loves to write for business, health, and women’s interests. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.