It goes without saying that buying a house is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. There are just so many factors to consider, and real estate agents will tell you the top three are location, location and location. Without discounting that valuable input, there’s always affordability to consider and whether you plan to renovate or keep the property as is for the foreseeable future. Even if your plans include razing the structure and starting afresh, there are certain things you must look out for when buying a house. Here are three of them.


1. Underground Utilities In Good Repair

It’s wise to look not only above the ground but also below it when choosing a home. Is that beautiful big tree that offers shade in summer, juicy fruit and a home to birds silently wreaking subterranean havoc on sewage and drain pipes? Countless homeowners have discovered over time that creeping roots have invaded their pipes, causing leaks, foul odours and flooding. That’s why it is crucial to have a licensed professional inspect the underground utilities before purchase. If repairs are needed, at least you’ll be forewarned. Once a problem has been identified, pipe repair experts such as Nuflow Technologies can repair various types of damage, like holes and cracks, without the expense of replacement. They may also be able to prevent further root intrusion. Be sure to consult a reputable expert to get an accurate assessment of the problem.

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2. Damage From White Ants

Homes in certain parts of the country, especially those with warmer climates, are susceptible to catastrophic structural damage caused by the appetite of white ants (also known as termites). The risk is higher for homes near heavily wooded areas, which are becoming more common as developments add to the urban sprawl. Since many homes new and old are not adequately protected against this scourge, the damage caused runs into the tens of millions of dollars each year.


To avoid costly repairs down the track, ensure your licensed building inspector checks for the presence of termites in any house that catches your serious interest, and that the building includes robust countermeasures against these pests. Moreover, if any damage is present, make sure this is properly documented so you are aware of the extent and seriousness of any termite-related structural issues should you proceed with the purchase anyway.


3. Easements

Easements are specific areas that may exist on a block of land that cannot be built on. They allow easy access to underground utilities such as gas, water and sewage pipes and electrical cables. Because these utilities service not only the house in question but also others in the area, they need to be accessible by their respective operators to repair leaks and faults. Easements will be visible on official property plans so that builders know to avoid accidentally (and illegally) covering them. It’s therefore important to inspect the drawings and physical buildings to ensure any easements are not built on – unintentionally or otherwise – because the owner of the property becomes responsible for costs of removing the obstruction.


These are just three tips about things to look for when buying a house. Why not leave your own ideas below?