House and keys

3 things to look for if you’re buying a house

(NC) Buying a home is a major purchase, and you want to be sure you’re making the right choice – especially in the current uncertain marketplace. While there are lots of things to consider for your dream house, here are three things not to overlook:

While you’ll probably take stock of neighbourhood amenities like nearby parks and schools, give some thought to the geography of where you’re buying. Is the home in a flood plain? It is at the bottom of a valley or at the top of a hill that could erode? Will you need specialized insurance or are you well positioned for an emergency?

Hidden damage
Beyond curb appeal or a practical layout, watch for subtle signs of disrepair that could cost you later. If any surfaces look warped – especially around appliances like the sink, dishwasher and toilet – or there are damp spots around the home, there could be a water leak. This can mean structural damage and health hazards like mould, which are often serious and expensive challenges to resolve. Watch out for strange odours and horizontal cracks in the foundation too which could be difficult to fix.

Radon levels
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas found in every building in the country, however new or old. Long-term indoor exposure to it is the number one cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. Ask sellers about the radon levels in the homes you’re considering. Recent research indicates that energy-efficient homes will likely have higher radon levels due to extra sealing and lower ventilation.

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