Thursday, October 22, 2020

Three Things to Look Out for When Purchasing an Older Home


When purchasing a new home, most buyers look at important features like price, the size of the bedrooms, the proximity to necessary amenities, and square footage. But new homeowners often overlook important details that can put you at risk. Here are a few red flags to look out for when buying an older home.

Lead Paint

Lead paint was banned in the US in 1978, but many homes built before then may still have traces of it. Lead paint is not as dangerous to adults as it is to children - but it’s still a dangerous substance that can cause health complications if ingested. Babies and young children have been known to eat lead paint chips and get sick. So, It’s especially important to keep an eye out for lead paint in your home if you have children. Most states have laws that require the disclosure of lead paint in the home. But in some instances, this detail may slip through the cracks. If you’re unsure of whether the home your buying lead pain may have, consult your realtor or have the paint in the home inspected before closing.


Mold is a type of fungus that grows in moist places like basements, kitchens, and bathrooms. Not all mold is toxic but some strains cause disease and it's always unsightly. Black mold can be very dangerous, especially if ingested. If you live in an area that has a lot of rainfall or it’s near a body of water, be on the lookout for mold. Most homes in America have a mold issue at some point. But conscientious homeowners take care of the problem before it gets out of hand. If you’re purchasing an older home, especially one that may need some improvement, look out for mold. You can either have an inspector come out and check for it or just use your sense of smell. Homes with a mold problem often smell musty and damp – like an old pair of gym socks or a wet dog.


Asbestos is another problem found in older homes. It’s a material that was used heavily in construction in the 18th and 19th centuries until it was discovered that exposure causes debilitating lung diseases. The material is still not officially banned in the US, but its usage is more stringently regulated and has decreased dramatically over the years. Many homes contain asbestos unbeknownst to the owner because it was used in common products like insulation, roofing, and floor tiles. Asbestos is extremely damaging to your health and if you discover the presence of the material in your home you should go through the proper channels to have it removed. Check out Asbestos.Net for resources on what to do if you discover any asbestos and the rights you have to hold negligent companies responsible for putting you at risk.  

Those are the major items to look out for when purchasing an older home. They can be tough to detect with the untrained eye and can put your family at risk. Consult your realtor or home inspector to check for any of these potential dangers.

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