JULY 2021 | WHAT’S IN THIS ISSUE?
» The 5 most expensive house issues to watch for
» 3 home fixes best left to the pros
» 4 ways to cool your home (naturally)
The 5 most expensive house issues to watch for
Every house has issues. Most are minor, but some demand costly and invasive interventions. As you tour potential homes, keep an eye out for these five issues — all of which can come with major price tags.
Wobbly foundation: Signs of a bad foundation include cracks, walls bowing in and shearing where cinderblocks meet. If you buy a house with foundation problems, plan to start repairs ASAP. And set aside a decent amount — foundations can cost more than $10k to fix.
Old roof: Missing or peeling shingles may mean a failing roof. Unless you like catching leaks, that roof will need to be fixed fast. Roof replacement can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars for a partial replacement, to over $6k.
Termites & carpenter ants: Insects that target wood aren’t too costly if you catch them early, but the price can climb into the thousands if the problem is left untreated. Unexplained piles of sawdust, mud tunnels leading up to walls and hollowed-out wood are all signs of infestation.
Bad sewer line: It can be hard to know what shape the pipes are in, but neighborhood trends can help give you an idea. If neighbors have had to replace their own sewer lines recently, odds are higher the house you’re considering will need the same fix. Sewer main replacement costs a few thousand dollars.
Old wiring: When rewiring and electrical repairs are required, the price tag can be jaw dropping – up to $15k. Think very carefully before buying a house with serious electrical problems.
3 home fixes best left to the pros
If you’re looking for a sense of pride and accomplishment, completing a home DIY project can’t be beat. Patching, replacing and upgrading are also less expensive when you do it yourself. However, there are a few projects you shouldn’t take on unless you’re a professional.
- Electrical repairs. This may seem obvious, but people electrocute themselves every day attempting to fix their own wiring or install their own fixtures. On top of the electrocution risks, DIY wiring can cause fires, ruin electronics and make the house much harder to sell down the road.
- Structural changes. It’s hard to know which walls are safe to demolish and which are vital to the integrity of the home. If you mistakenly remove a load-bearing wall, at best the floor above will start to sag. At worst, the home might collapse.
- Gas appliances. Because gas appliance repairs often seem straightforward, many homeowners try to handle them on their own. But even if you shut off the gas and take your time with the fix, a tiny mistake can lead to a life-threatening gas leak. To stay on the safe side, always call in a professional for gas oven, gas heater or other gas appliance repair.
4 ways to cool your home (naturally)
Here are four cost effective & eco-friendly ways to stay cool:
- Use light-colored exterior materials.
- Plant trees on the east and west sides.
- Install radiant barrier on the inside of the roof.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with fluorescents or LEDs.