10 Costly Repairs To Avoid When Buying A Home

If you’re planning on buying a house and fixing it up before you move in, you may want to take a closer look at parts of the house you wouldn’t expect to fix. If you’re budgeting to renovate and focus on the typical areas of the home that make it nice, like your kitchens and bathrooms, keep in mind that other areas of the home may need attention. Here are some examples found in Toronto home renovations.

1. Foundation repairs and leaking basements – Fixing a leaky basement, or repairing cracks, bows, or shifting in a foundation can be costly. Typically you can run into well over $10 K- $30K to fix this problem. Often basement walls are covered up and issues are not apparent until after they come down. So look for cracks in the foundation outside and if the interior of the basement is finished, look around for any evidence of mold (even minor) around the baseboards, or on the drywall.

 

2. Mold and water damage – If you notice any water marks, sagging, mold smells, repairs adjacent to bathrooms or kitchens, look out. Existing and pre-existing problems can be covered up, but be suspicious and if in doubt have a pro look at it for their opinion. Don’t assume that everything is fine. Minor mold and water damage can be easily fixed, but if there is a larger problem you can expect to pay dearly.

 

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3. Structural failures – Keep your eye out for cracks in ceilings, sloping floors and beams and posts in the house that may be failing. Fixing these types of issues can cost thousands of dollars and in some instances are beyond worth fixing. Be especially careful in older homes where renovations have been done and structural items have been removed.

 

4. Roofing replacement – Make sure you have BOTH your roof shingles and sheathing underneath it. Have a roofer inspect the roof and also have someone take a peak up into the attic. It’s also important to have flashing and vents inspected for leaks as well.

 

5. Damaged and/or or poorly installed windows – Windows and doors that look tired are easy to spot. However, it’s sometimes difficult to know if they have been installed properly. Make sure there are no screw holes through the bottom of windows and the flashing on the outside of the windows are done well. If there is a draft coming from the windows that means they have not been insulated properly. Also if you feel cold or hot next to the frame of the window that is a bad sign.

 

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6. Shower/Bathtub leaks – This is sometimes hard to tell, but a sure sign that this area of your new home is headed for trouble is if you see poor tile work. Look for creaks in the grout and uneven tile work. If the tiles are put in improperly then there are probably other mistakes like a tub without a tile flange, or drywall behind the tiles that soaks up water.

 

7. Asbestos – BEFORE YOU BUY A HOUSE make sure you test for asbestos in the attic, plaster in the walls, and floor tiles on the floor that look like vinyl. Especially if you see asbestos around pipes, this is the most expensive to get rid of it. Tests are not expensive and can give you piece of mind.

 

8. Poorly installed interior finishes – Watch out for homes where its been renovated, but not very well i.e. bad trimwork, drywall, doors, electrical, etc. Often when you purchase a home like this you are asked to pay a premium for the renovations, but if its not done right you may have to rip it out.

 

9. HVAC and electrical repairs – Have an experienced and licensed electrician and HVAC technician inspect your house. In some instances you can’t get insurance unless you upgrade certain aspects of the wiring in your home.

 

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10. Bad plumbing  – New homeowners run into this all the time and plumbers aren’t cheap. Make sure you have a plumber quickly review the plumbing in the house. The most common problem is improper venting, water pressure, and drainage issues. If you sense any of these problems AFTER you have turned on ALL the fittings in the house, bring someone in to check it out.