5 Pesky Mistakes New Homeowners Make – And How to Avoid Them


When house hunting, it is easy to focus on the eye-catching surface features. Unfortunately, those well-staged facades can cover up big problems. If you are in the market for a new home, there are several hidden issues you should keep your eye out for as you shop.

Tiny cracks. Small cracks and crevices in the foundation, doorways, and walls where pipes enter the home could be inviting ants, roaches, spiders, rodents, and other pests inside. A rat can squeeze through an opening as small as a quarter and a mouse can fit through a hole the size of a dime. Cockroaches, ants, and spiders can enter through tiny crevices, too.

Insulation. A home’s attic can be a gateway inside for many pests that nest in insulation. It’s important to inspect insulation for pest activity and damage. Take note of insulation that is wet, matted down, chewed, or covered with droppings.

Flooring and siding damage. Termites are called “silent destroyers” because they may be secretly hiding and thriving in a home or yard without immediate signs of damage. They cause more than $5 billion in damage every year in the United States, according to the National Pest Management Association. House foundations, wood framing, furniture, and shelves are all possible feeding sites for termites. In spring, termites can be seen swarming around windows or doors. Other signs of termite activity include buckling wood, swollen floors and ceilings, and areas that appear to be suffering from slight water damage.

Unrepaired leaks. Minor leaks may seem to be just that – minor – but leaks or condensation, combined with increasing temperatures in the spring, can create ideal conditions for cockroaches and other pests. American cockroaches, “camel crickets,” and springtails are attracted to damp areas, both in the attic or crawl space and indoors in the basement, kitchen, or bathroom.

None of these concerns has to be a deal breaker, however, according to Dr. Ron Harrison, an entomologist with Orkin. Pests are attracted to shelter, food, and water, so homeowners can eliminate these appealing conditions by sealing cracks and crevices around doors, windows, and pipes; installing weather stripping around and under doors; installing new insulation designed to deter household pests; fixing leaky faucets, water pipes, and A/C units; eliminating standing water on the roof or in gutters; and getting a professional termite inspection.

Your Duffey Realty REALTOR® will help you address any of these concerns with the homeowner prior to the sale and make a plan to correct them as soon as possible so you can enjoy your new home with peace of mind. Call one of our REALTORs® today.

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Source: Orkin