As a real estate agent, I have seen several issues with homes, but some stand out as more common than others or tend to be specific to our area. A house may look great from the outside but before you buy or sell a home there are a few potential problematic areas that should be researched before moving forward. Here are a few precarious issues I have identified:
T-Lock roofs were very popular here in Colorado for many years due to their resistance to high winds. However, T-Lock roof shingles are no longer available hence creating a bit of an insurance nightmare and can be a big issue when it’s time to sell. Since these roofs can not be repaired, but must be completely replaced, T-Lock roofs are considered an insurance hazard. Your home insurance coverage can be canceled or denied if you have this type of roofing. If you are considering buying a home with a T-Lock roof and it is still in great condition, check to make sure that you can get coverage. If you own a home with a T-Lock roof we highly recommend that you contact your insurance to verify that you are covered and if you are considering selling your home in the near future it would be wise to have the roof replaced before putting it on the market.
Polybutylene Piping was all the rage in the 70s, 80s, and mid-90s until it was discovered that the chlorine in the water was reacting with the piping and causing flaking, fractures, and eventually leaks. PB piping is no longer insurable yet many homeowners may not know they have it until a leak happens. Since some homes contain a combination of copper/pb piping, we suggest using a professional to check the home for possible PB piping as it can be difficult to find. It is not a matter IF the piping will leak but WHEN so make sure when you are purchasing a home seek out a professional plumber to inspect everything before you purchase.
If you are the owner of a home with PB piping consider having everything replaced. Most professionals state it takes about a week and costs about the same as flooring for your home. In the long run, it is much cheaper than paying for water damage and new piping, or having to take a hit in the sale price should you list your home.
With Colorado at the forefront of the legalization of marijuana, the demand for the plant increases along with those who are in the industry. Even with the legalization of retail sales, the demand for marijuana on the black market stands firm as it is cheaper and Colorado is at the top for the illegal exporting of this drug. As a result, there are still issues with private, illegal grow houses. As you search for a home, look for certain signs that would indicate it was a grow house:
- Unusually high electrical bill
- Water damage
- Signs of mold/mildew
- Water lines that have been re-routed
- Electrical shortcuts
- Holes in the ceiling (used for ventilation)
Homes that are used for grow houses cause extensive damage to the house and the surrounding property. Homes will need to be tested for mold and all wiring and plumbing checked. Due to the high humidity, there may be structural issues as well.
Flat roofs are ideal for arid areas with long summers. That certainly does NOT describe Colorado. While Colorado tends to be drier than most people realize, we can receive large amounts of rain in afternoon thunderstorms and we have the potential for heavy snowfall in our extended winters. Flat roofs are prone to sun damage, and here in Colorado, sun damage is inevitable. If you are interested in a flat roof home, please speak with a professional to make sure that there is a proper pitch, it is seamless, has received regular maintenance, no history of leaks, has proper wind protection (to keep water from pooling), and contains proper drains.
Coloradoans love their basements. It is a great way to expand your square footage at a relatively low cost, however, water damage around the foundation and in the basement area is common when the grading around the foundation has not been done properly. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, improper grading was #1 on their list for the most common of household maladies, including water penetration of the basement and crawlspace.
OTHER PROBLEMS COMMON IN COLORADO SPRINGS
Make sure to check with your realtor or the local government agencies to discover if a home has any of these potential issues:
- Landslide zone or Flood Zone: Even though Colorado Springs is considered to be a high desert, we have the potential for heavy rains every summer. Heavy rainfall in conjunction with wildfires over the last decade have increased the possibility of landslides and floods.
- Radon: Over 50% of homes in Colorado have some levels of radon. Radon is naturally occurring and can be found in all 50 states, however, Colorado ranks as having some of the highest levels of naturally-occurring radon. The good news is that it is easy and affordable to mitigate and shouldn’t deter you from purchasing a home.
There can certainly be other issues but we wanted to highlight some common or area-specific issues that you can run across in Colorado. Keep watch for a follow-up post on more details of environmental hazards that impact homes in Colorado Springs.
It is always profitable to be aware and research before starting to shop for a home or before you list a home for sale. I recommend NEVER going without a home inspection Ask LOTS of questions and invest extra time and money to make sure that you are an informed/aware buyer or, as an owner, your home is in the best shape it can be!
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Have more questions or need help? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me be your Colorado Agent.