Sunday, December 15, 2019

Home Buying Considerations in the Virginia Area

Home Buying Considerations in the Virginia Area

  • Inspect yearly
    • Wear
      • Roofs can wear away in 10 or more years. The wear may contribute to increase cooling/heating bills, water leaks into the home and or create opportunities for structural issues to the home
    • Critters
      • Look for attempts for animals like squirrels and birds tearing away at your home to make shelter
    • Damage
      • Check for damage resulting from storms, natural falling debris, as well as man-made debris
  • Gutters
    • Keep them clean; a heavy gutter begins to separate from your home over time. This diminishes the utility of the gutter as well as contribute to other forms of damage
    • Do-it-yourselfers can find gutter protection material via Amazon. However, you may want to have a professional look at your home to gain insight into what types of products may truly work for your situation
Drainage around the home
  • Keep water away from the foundation
    • Ensure water does not pool around the foundation of the home during rainy periods. If there are pools, you need to consider installing drainage lines to lure the water away from the home. Consult YouTube or a professional for more information. You can also visit to view different drainage products use to direct water away from your home.
    • Cracks in your foundation resulting from water damage can lead to many expensive and destructive issues to your home, if ignored.
  • General – this can be an expensive, messy and inconvenient nightmare for you if ignored.  If there’s anything you want inspected, it is plumbing.  Plumbing impacts your ability to survive, as well as your quality of life.
  • Well Water
    • Acidity
      • WARNING – if you see blue water, you need to ask the owner if they have copper pipes.  You want to know the source of the blue coloration, or any coloration for that matter. Plumbers tell me when you see blue in the water in a home with copper pipes, it indicates roughly 50% of the pipes are worn and a leak will be on the way.  If the piping from the well entering the home to the water neutralizer is copper, you might want to have everything before the water neutralizer replaced, or you may deal with massive leaks as I experienced.  I had CPVC installed by Robinson Plumbing of Fredericksburg-
    • Piping
      • Different types of piping are used for home water systems. Some common forms of piping are CPVC, copper, brass, cast iron and PEX.  You need to know what pipes you have. You need to know if they are maintained, and how they are maintained.  If they are not maintained, you have to identify what risks and expenses you are willing to incur until you have the pipe fixed and/or replaced.
    • Pressure tank – Water from the well is piped into your home leading to the pressure tank before the water is distributed to the water neutralizer and the rest of your home.  The life span on pressure tanks vary; I’ve been told 8-12 years.  These can be messy if you have a leak and you are not home. There are solutions to mitigate such concerns, ask a plumber.
    • Water softener – should sit next to your water neutralizer. This system makes the water customized you’re your level of comfort for bathing, cleaning clothes, etc.
  • Septic System
    • Pumping – should be cleaned every two to five years, or as directed by our local laws.  Call your local septic service.  I use Marshall’s septic service -
    • Drain field and Distribution Box – want to ensure water is flowing. You should have this inspected before purchasing the home; this can be very expensive if ignored.  Hydro jetting may be needed to clean out the lines so the system does not shut down and contribute to major problems later
  • Conventional water system – contact your local water provider and ask what concerns exist for home owners with conventional water systems. Also ask what concerns should you consider such as pipe replacement damage, liability and costs.
  • Water heater
    • Lifespans vary, as do their costs. Like pressure tanks, plumbers told me lifespans can range from 8-12 years.  Costs can vary from electric water heaters versus more expensive gas water heaters.
  • You can find some guides on plumbing via Amazon, or take the information from Amazon and go to your local library to find the books.
Air Conditioning - I have both gas and electric. You need to be on an annual maintenance plan to ensure your systems are covered by manufacturer warranties, as well as some home warranty companies.
  • Ensure  you change your air filters often. I change mine monthly.  Filters need not be expensive, talk to your local service provider for recommendations. I use I.C.E. -
  • Also talk to your service provider about how to clean your outside systems from dirt, grime, pet urine, etc that often shortens the lifespan on your systems. If taken care of properly, your systems can live a long time. Example, I maintain my systems via I.C.E and still have part of the original system installed in 1994 … now 2019.
  • Have an inspector look at your wiring by testing your systems. It’s one thing if light turn off and on; it’s another thing if you have dirty bathroom vents that may not be working properly and can contribute to a potential fire later.  
Home Warranty
  • Debates exist, but I purchased one when I purchased the home and maintained it for over 14 years… provided me much peace of mind and has come to good use for many heating/cooling system issues, plumbing and mechanical issues. Service may not always be timely, but your concerns are often well-addressed at an affordable price.  Emergencies tend to happen on weekends, holidays and/or when money is tight… that’s when warranties help provide some piece of mind.
Termite/pest control
  • You don’t have a problem, until you have a problem. And, when you do, this can be very expensive. I use Colony Pest Control -

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