It doesn't matter if you actually want to buy a new home or sell the one you are currently in, so long as you remember there are a handful of things that can significantly effect the cost of the house. While many people may think it is important to have high end finishes, the truth of the matter is you need to be wary of some of the high dollar items. Finishes are just that; finishes. But, if you have to dig into the bones of a home to make changes whether you are prepping to sell or considering buying, these are the items you must be conscious of.
Mold and Mildew
Any time a potential buyer spies mold or mildew growing on or inside of a house it can be a significant problem. Not only does mold signify there are tremendous problems with respect to drainage or leaks, but the fact of the matter is if you have mold in or around your house it can be a nightmare. Mold isn't just an allergic and poisonous substance by itself, but it can spread and get into other things all around the rest of the home before you even know it. In order to remove the mold spores you have to pull up finishes and expose the underlying wood, and the remediation can be extremely touchy as well to make sure you have removed it all. If you are preparing to buy then you definitely need to have a mold test. And, if you are going to sell, you should ensure you know about any mold problems far in advance as well.
Rotting Wood or Dryrot
If you happen to be in an area that has termites or you think you could wind up having any other problems with unfinished and untreated wood in a given house, then you have to be aware of wood problems. Because woods are the bones of your home you should be able to imagine the complications that can occur when your structural integrity is compromised. Not only could you see minor shifts in the house or home if support starts to give away, but you can also wind up having more problems come in through the holes where wood used to be. Throw in the fact that termites or other pests may still be present once you have seen signs of them being there and you can tell why checking for dry rot or other wood problems like termites can be very important to sniff out ahead of time.
If you want to buy a house and there are cracks in it, you should keep your eyes open. Obviously houses settle and shift over time. However, if you have a problem with the actual structural foundation itself then you could absolutely be looking into significatn costs. Likewise, if you are going to try and sell your home at some point then you should verify any minor structural problems now to stop them from getting worse and to fix them for later.
Pests can be a problem in any home for a few reasons, but one of the worst things about pests is the damage they can leave behind. Not only will fumigating and general cleanup run a decent amount of money, but you can also see the tremendous amount of long term annoyance that can come with trying to find the holes, cracks, or entryways that pests use and will continue to use.
As long as you are able to consider all of the problems or potential pitfalls that can come with buying a house, then you should be in a much better position for pricing and awareness. However, if you are looking to sell your house then you should absolutely be aware of the highest cost items to repair when it comes time to sell.
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