Property Risk

Construction Style and Quality - Custom-built new homes may be on par with older homes in terms of quality

Climate, Geology and Position - Humidity, temperature extremes, and storms accelerate the aging process, making property “wear and tear” more likely. Position matters too. A house on the top of a hill or with a steep driveway is much harder to sell.

Renovations and Additions - Previously made renovations can hide many problems with the property. Know what’s been added and renovated and always make sure all structures on the property are legal structures.

Foundation or Structural Problems - Fixing foundation problems can be costly and inconvenient. Signs include visible wall cracks that grow over time, cracked tile or concrete floors, doors that jam or fail to latch, persistently stuck windows, and floors that are clearly off-level.

Roof Problems - Problems stemming from a compromised roof can cost tens of thousands of dollars to fix, and may not be covered by homeowners insurance.

Inefficient Windows - Inefficient windows result in higher electricity bills.

Plumbing Problems - Old or substandard plumbing system can cause major water damage in the walls and floors.

Inadequate or Unsafe Electrical Systems - This can result into problems of safety and convenience. Insulation, electrical service panels and circuit breakers are also prone to deterioration.

Failing or Inefficient Mechanicals and Appliances - Equipment near the end of its useful life is more prone to failure, raising the possibility of an inconvenient or dangerous situation. On average, water heaters last 10 to 15 years, furnaces/A/C last 15 to 30 years.

Hazardous Materials - Lead and asbestos are two hazardous materials that were used in residential applications until relatively recently. If the property is older, from pre-70s era, the risk of finding these materials exists.

Mold and Mildew Damage - Homes exposed to excessive moisture are likely to develop mold and mildew problems.

Unhelpful, Unfinished, or Outdated Updates -There may be costly updates that need to be fixed, including poorly designed, inadequate, or simply tasteless interiors and incomplete projects, such as a partially finished basement or partially laid patio.

Substandard or Unsafe Features - Older homes in particular may have many obsolete, even unsafe, features. Examples include steep staircases, low ceilings, blocked-off chimneys, and nonworking fireplaces.

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