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Learning More About Real Estate

After finally saving up enough money to use as a down payment, I decided that it was time to hit the market. I met with a lender, got pre-approved for a loan, and then started visiting different properties. However, I quickly realized that I didn't know as much about real estate as I would have hoped. I wanted to find a great neighborhood and know what to ask the professionals, but I could tell that I needed a little help. To point me in the right direction, I started working with a great real estate agent who was familiar with the area. This blog is all about educating the general public on real estate matters.


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Learning More About Real Estate

Four Optional Home Inspection Tests You Shouldn't Skip

by Nathan Olson

When you buy a new home, the unfortunate truth is that you never know quite what you're signing up for. Home inspections help you minimize the inherent risk of buying a house by poring over every nook and cranny for signs of wear, tear and shoddy construction. But a few of the most common issues new homeowners face are not part of a standard inspection checklist, including testing for pollutants and other harmful substances. Some building inspectors run these tests as a matter of course, but many of them do not, and it is up to you as the buyer to ensure that they are conducted. 

Testing for Soil Pollutants and Soil Structure

If you are moving to an urban area, it may be wise to have your soil tested for lead and other pollutants, and you should consider it in rural neighborhoods as well. Lead tends to collect in soil, and it can linger there for years. In cities, accumulated deposits from old leaded paint and gasoline may still be present, and it is toxic and developmentally harmful to children. While you are having your soil tested, you should also have it inspected for its structural quality, particularly if your house is on a hill or near cliffs. There are few things worse than buying a house and learning it will sink into the ground within a few years. 

Checking the Water

On a similar note, you will want to have your new home's water tested if it draws from a well. The pollutants collecting in soil can leech into a well and contaminate the water, and a high mineral content leads to hard water that can damage your plumbing, flavor your water, and make showering unpleasant. Hard water is not necessarily a deal-breaker, but knowing about it beforehand can help you install softeners before you move in.

Inspecting Trees on the Property

Stately oak trees lining your new yard can be a major selling point, but trees can also cost you thousands of dollars in landscaping fees. Sickly old trees, or ones that are infested with termites and other pests, do not always show their distress until it is too late to save them. If your property has many trees or even a single large one in the backyard, it may be worth your time to have an arborist look them over for signs of rot, disease, and pests. 

Examining for Mold 

Mold is everywhere, to a certain extent, but a few species can be directly hazardous to your health. Your home inspector will at least scan for signs of mold and dampness as part of a routine building inspection, but you should ask whether that process includes an air test to check for floating mold spores. This test will tell you how much mold is really present in your home and which species are present.

Building inspections offer a sweeping look into the bones of your home, but by filling in the gaps that aren't usually covered, you can help guarantee that you are making the biggest investment of your life with no unpleasant surprises waiting to be discovered. 

For a building inspection, contact a company such as Home Inspection Associate.