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Tips for the Home Buyer or Seller

TEN TELLTALE SIGNS OF TROUBLE

1) GRADE & DRAINAGE:

It is particularly important that the surface within five feet of the house be sloped away from the house to direct surface water away from the house and to direct surface water away from the foundation. All downspout discharges should be directed away from the house by means of extensions, splash blocks, or by underground drainpipes. Any openings where downspouts enter underground drains should be protected to prevent the entrance of debris that could block them.

2) BLOCKED EXTERIOR VENTS:

The vents should be above the ground so that water does not enter them. They should have screens and not be blocked with debris or building material. Some people with homes with no floor insulation will shut up vents in the winter. In our warm, wet climate this usually traps moisture that encourages bugs. At least 50% of the older homes with blocked vents have pest problems.

 

3) THE ROOF:

Take binoculars and see if there are uneven or curled shingles. Moss, rusty flashing, loose bricks on the chimney and even holes can usually be detected from the ground.

 

4) WOOD TO EARTH CONTACT:

Earth against the wall of the house, even stucco or brick, can cause damage inside. Earth should be six inches below the top of the concrete wall.

 

5) DO IT YOURSELF WIRING:

Look for: Wires that do not junction a junction box. Extension cords used as primary wiring. Extension cords plugged inside the house and running though a hole in the wall or floor to operate an electrical appliance.

 

6) OLD PANEL BOXES:

Fuse boxes and add-on boxes are outdated. The FHA and insurance companies do not like these.

 

7) THE FURNACE:

Turn it on. Is it noisy? Check for a missing or a dirty filter. Look for a register in each room.

 

8) ATTIC:

Are exhaust fans vented outside? Are there vents, some near the eaves and others near the top of the roof? Is the inside of the attic blue or green with mold? Is the insulation touching the chimney, recessed lights, or knob and tube wiring?

 

9) CRAWLSPACE:

Look for inadequate clearance and watermarks on posts. Posts should appear to be even and on cement blocks. Any collection of junk should be removed. Any water or damp condition is not acceptable for proper pest control.

 

10) LITTLE THINGS:
Turn on the water, flush toilets, look under sinks, open closet doors; test the door locks and windows.

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