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Buying Real Estate? 15 Things To Check To Avoid Being Bugged

The article on this page is original, but has been published in other places on the Internet.

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Real Estate, Buying Real Estate, Pests and Real Estate Pest Checklist Real Estate Checklist.


Homes are generally inspected for termites and termite damage, but there is a lot more to getting that great, bug free home than just termite inspection. There are thousands of other insects and other pests that can ruin the experience of home ownership. If you need a guide for what to look for, and how to check, you have come to the right place!

When you buy a home, it has probably been inspected at each stage of its development. It may have even had an environmental inspection, but has it been inspected for potential pest problems, both in and out of doors?

Preventing pests is always better than controlling pests, in the same way that preventing house fires is better than controlling house fires. You will have fire insurance, but will you have pest insurance? This is about preventing pests, before they start. It is a list of things for you to check before you sign on the dotted line.

Of course, we can't stop them all, but we can go a lot further than we are now. Don't let bugs and weeds suck all the joy out of owning a home. Read this, and take action!

This is a checklist for the potential home buyer. It might even convince you that the home you are considering is not for you! If that happens, it is better to know that now, before the mortgage papers are signed and the mosquitoes return.

That is a good place to start, mosquitoes.

1. If the home or home site is close to a mosquito infested swamp, it might be a good idea to get out before the wife sees the granite counter-tops. There are some things that you can't do much about, and draining the swamp is probably one of them. The same is true for other areas, that you would probably stay clear of for other reasons. Sewer treatment plants, slaughterhouses and various other places. Live to fight another day, and see what else there is on the market.

2. What are the immediate surroundings like. Is the property flanked by overgrown, or freshly mowed, but obviously once overgrown land. Get the impression that it was mowed solely for this showing? Weeds hide vermin and bugs, plus, they are "weeds." Will the owner of the adjoining property be willing to keep it up to the standards that you require? If not, you will have a constant, almost unseen struggle with field mice, and insects, and they will eventually, find a way inside.

3. In the wider area, is there anything that would be likely to breed or feed an infestation of any unwanted critters. Vermin and insects will travel, and they might just travel to your place for a vacation from the elements.

4. Look at the lawn area, are there low spots which show evidence that the area holds water, and might make a fine breeding ground for mosquitoes? If so, is it something you can deal with, is there a way to drain or fill the area, will you need professional assistance?

5. Are there piles of debris, dead trees, brush piles nearby? They will be hiding places for bugs.

6. Are there screens over eve vents, soffit vents and other vent areas to prevent invaders from making their way inside?

7. Are doors and windows properly sealed? Is the weather striping in good condition? Are the door sweeps completely to the floor and the sides of the doors? Are all pipes, conduits, cable and electrical entries well sealed? Look at both the inside and the outside of the home with these things in mind.

8. Are the shrubs against the side of the home? They should be at least a foot away. So should any mulch. How about the trees, are they well trimmed and far enough away from the roof to prevent damage and the occasional squirrel from the roof?

9. Does the yard have weeds, or sand burs? This is a sign of bad cultural practices. There is a good chance that this might be the tip of the iceberg. If so, can it be taken care of, how, and by whom?

10. You will want to check out the conditions of your streets, and drives. If they are not well maintained, there is a chance that they never will be. Weeds growing through concrete and asphalt, are a very destructive. They should be stopped , and prevented from returning, or they can eat a driveway in just a few years.

11.Trees growing into power lines and communications lines will have to be pruned, and if the electric company or cable company have the work done, it will most likely be done improperly from the tree and homeowners perspective. This will lead to disease and pests. If this situation exists, it will need to be solved by removing the tree and planting replacements well away from the lines, or the trees pruned by a skillful arborist to provide clearance without damage to the trees.

12. Check trees near the house. Are roots rising from the ground? Are they growing toward the home? Are there any minor cracks or loose mortar joints nearby? This could be a signal that the tree is tearing down the house a little at a time.

13. Erosion. Check for it, if it is there, can it be stopped? If it can be stopped, will the methods used produce more problems with bugs and weeds? Eroded areas rarely have good soil conditions for growing anything but weeds, and if they are washing out now, it will be difficult to keep them from washing away the re-constructed lawn.

14. Weep holes. Are there vines growing into them, or vines that could grow into them? Are they clear of debris and dirt. Blocked weep holes won't let the condensate out of your wall cavities, and air into them. I have seen mold problems develop from this. This is usually accompanied by insect problems.

I5. Are there existing "problem plants?" If there is kudzu growing along the creek bank behind the homes wooden fence, it is only a matter of time before it grows into the fence and into your lawn and landscape!

Insist on checking these items before you buy, it could keep a lot of little things from bugging you! 

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