Major Repairs to Look For When Buying a New House

Tuesday, February 28, 2023


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When buying a new house, buyers must take into account several elements. Some are financial, while others will determine the overall quality of a home more important. For instance, some homebuyers prioritize the quality of schools in an area when deciding.

What your priorities are, the house's condition should come high on your list of priorities. Read on to learn of some issues you should know about before committing to the purchase.

Structural Issues

When purchasing a new house, structural issues should always be considered. These can make or break the stability of a home and can often prove costly to rectify.

Cracks in plaster, brickwork, stonework, and concrete may be superficial and simply due to settlement, or they could be more serious and indicate a foundation issue such as dampness or subsidence.

Vertical hairline cracks are not usually caused for alarm as they are natural occurrences. Still, if one end is wider than the other or runs diagonally, this could indicate a potential issue. If you notice these in your home, it's best to get them inspected by a structural engineer or building surveyor.

Foundation Problems

If you're searching for a new home, it's essential to be aware of potential issues that could arise. One such issue is foundation problems.

Deterioration can be costly and negatively affect the value of your house. It also poses a risk to lenders since repairs may make it difficult to qualify for a mortgage.

Expansive soils, which lie beneath the foundations of buildings, can expand and contract as water is absorbed or lost. Expansive soils are common throughout North America and Canada and can cause significant damage to buildings or other structures due to their nature.

If you notice gaps in your home's walls, this could indicate a foundation issue. It is imperative you fix cracks in your foundation or have the current owners fix them as soon as possible.


If you're considering buying a house that appears to be sinking or shifting around the ground, it could indicate subsidence. This could suggest that the foundations have been compromised and could cause significant structural damage.

Several factors, such as poor drainage or leaking drains, can cause subsidence. It could also result from changing weather conditions that cause soil to shrink, crack or dry out and then shift in an unstable manner - weakening its support structure.

Other contributing factors include compaction in aquifer systems, drainage of organic soils, underground mining operations, hydro compaction (adding water back into the ground), natural compaction processes, and thawing permafrost.

When the Roof Was Last Repaire or Replaced

Knowing the history of repairs and replacements is essential when purchasing a house. This information is especially pertinent if you plan to do work on the roof in the future.

There are several ways to determine the age of your roof, such as contacting previous owners and reviewing home improvement records.

In addition, a building inspector or contractor can inspect your roof and accurately assess its age. While this route will incur a fee, it's the most accurate way to discern its repair and replacement history.

Damp Issues

When purchasing a house, it's essential to check for damp issues. Damp can encourage mold and mildew growth, which is hazardous for those living in the house and devalues the property. They can be especially problematic in older homes.

If dampness is discovered during a survey, it's wise to enlist the services of an expert who can investigate the issue and give you an estimate for repairs. They'll also let you know how much it would cost to fix the problem and if negotiation can be done with the seller to have them fix it before you purchase.

Oyu must uncover as many issues as possible before entering escrow, as once this is completed, they become your issues and can be costly to fix. For this reason, you should always have a thorough survey to make a more informed decision on whether this is the right house.

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