Buying a new home is super exciting but can sometimes come with a to-do list that seems longer than the Great Wall of China. Some of the things on your list are more important than others and the safety of your new place should be one of your greatest priorities. Sometimes it can be hard to know where to start! Don’t fret, that’s where we come in. We’ve put together a list of things to check before your take the purchasing plunge so that you can sleep easy, knowing your family will be safe in your new place.
Read on the check them out.
1. Check Out The Electrics
Taking a look at the electrical system can keep you safe and save you thousands of dollars of work. When you’re viewing potential new homes it doesn’t hurt to have an electrician undertake an electrical safety test to see whether you need replacement electrical breakers or rewiring. If the home needs a whole lot of work done it’s better to know before you buy as rewiring can cost in the tens of thousands to do. If any electrical issues are left untreated you could be at risk from a devastating electrical fire.
2. Assess The Roof
The roof can be a nightmarish and costly exercise to repair, so try and check it out before you commit to buying. Look for loose tiles that may come off, especially in inclement weather, and hire a professional to assess if there are any leaks that may lead to dry rot. If there is, the timber will need to be replaced if you do end up buying the home. Check if there is any sagging on the roof itself as that can cause ice dams in colder weather, leaving you with a damp and unstable roof. It’s also worth checking the roof insulation. If it is not adequate it will cost a lot more to heat your home and you could wind up with huge electricity bills.
3. Watch Out For Damp And Mould
As well as being an eyesore, dampness can be seriously harmful to your health. Damp conditions can lead to mold and can be extremely difficult to get rid of, once it has set in. Mold can cause severe respiratory problems such as acute asthma or allergies and damage your immune system. In extreme cases, damp and mold can even lead to hallucinations. If you have a family who wants a decent night’s rest, make sure your home doesn’t have any damp areas or patches of mold.
4. Check For Cracks In The Walls
A safe home should be structurally sound and cracks in the walls can be an indicator of instability. As houses grow older it is natural for them to lose a little of their stability over time, especially in areas with extreme temperature changes which can cause the structure to grow and then shrink. Be mindful not to confuse small hairline plaster cracks with larger structural damage, particularly in extensions or newly build homes. These smaller cracks can be fixed yourself. If your potential new home has cracks that are larger than an 1/8th of an inch it could be because of structural issues. This could lead to you having to shell out for a total rebuild to avoid colossal damage that may cause the home to collapse.
5. Look at The Pipes
Many older homes may contain lead piping which can be incredibly harmful to you and your family. Although illegal to plumb with now, plenty of old buildings still has the pipes they were built with pre-1980s. The lead can leach from the pipes into your water supply which when consumed regularly can bring about toxic lead poisoning. The effects of this can be from stunting mental development to physical pain and even death. It would be wise to steer clear of any homes with lead piping in place or allow a reasonable portion of your home buying budget to have the piping redone if you cannot resist the house itself.
6. Inspect The Garden
If the house you like is home to ancient oaks or tons of other trees, it’s worth giving them a good once over before you buy, particularly if you’re in an area that is subjected to strong weather conditions like heavy winds. Any trees near the house could be at risk of falling and can cause substantial damage if they do and can also disturb the foundations of your house. This can be super expensive to fix, and removing them from your garden can be pricey so ask yourself if the beautiful garden is worth it.
Do you have any other safety tips to look for when inspecting a potential home? Share in the comments to help other readers.