Homeownership is the American Dream. Everyone craves a cozy home with a white picket fence, and it can be easy to fall in love with an older home with lots of charm. However, the team at LeafFilter Gutter Protection has protected gutters for first-time homeowners. Upon arrival, our experts have spotted countless areas of concern that the uninformed could easily overlook. Here’s some advice to help you pursue the American Dream without taking on impending repairs:
- Check the roof
Roofing issues are one of the primary issues encountered by our installers. If your home has gutter protection installed under the first row of shingles, there is a chance that your roof warranty has been voided. Peeling shingles, signs of water damage, and obvious issues like holes and collapse can be a disaster for your pocketbook.
- Take a look at the gutters
Gutters are a feature that is often overlooked by potential buyers, but the shape of the existing gutters may offer some insight into impending damages. Are the gutters sagging? Are they sloped toward the house? Are they so clogged that water is flowing over them… and potentially into the basement? Gutters can be easily replaced by the LeafFilter team, but a home with seriously damaged gutters can experience issues (or may have already had issues) before you can address the issue.
- Make sure upgrades are upgrades
Sure, new counter tops are always attractive in a prospective home. However, if you peek under the kitchen sink and see leaky pipes or signs of water damage, that “upgrade” may just be masking an existing problem. Do you have a new bathtub surround in your bathroom? These may look nice, but many cover up existing problems like mold and (yet again) leaky pipes.
- Get to know the neighborhood and local schools
We’ve all heard horror stories about nightmare neighbors and the kids having to commute far away to a better school, but these issues can often be avoided via a quick internet search. Whether you have children or are planning to have children, there’s great value in checking into local school ratings. Check police reports to make sure your prospective street isn’t frequently mentioned, and ask your realtor how quickly properties sell in the area for additional insight.
- See if heat and air conditioning work
Depending on where you live, these features can be more necessity than luxury. Nothing is worse than settling in, encountering a cold night, and finding out that your home doesn’t have heat. Additionally, repairs to these units can be incredibly pricey.
- Check for insulation, properly sealed windows, and other efficiency concerns
If your windows are allowing cold air to leak into your cozy home, your utility bills will suffer. A lack of insulation in the attic can spell disaster for the average budgeter, and vaulted ceilings may also increase heating and cooling bills.
- Avoid basement cracks and heaving driveways
See evidence of cracks in your basement walls? These may be caused by issues with water, frost heaving, or even tree roots. Whatever the cause, these can be expensive to repair and may even cause the basement to flood. Basement flooding is an entirely new can of worms — damages can range from destroyed furniture to destroyed walls. Cracked driveways may offer some insight into soil quality and the impact of freezing cycles.
- Mold? Stay away!
See signs of mold in your prospective home? This may be an incredibly minor issue that can be effortlessly addressed, or it could be an expensive process. Of course, mold is also a health concern. It’s particularly hazardous for those with asthma or other health conditions, infants, and older adults.
Purchasing your first home can be an overwhelming experience. Fortunately, if you know where to look, you can find the home of your dreams and avoid purchasing a lemon.
Looking for more tips? Check out our advice for new homeowners to help you get settled in!