Is your new house a danger to your health? Find out before you buy!

Buying a new house is complicated enough as it is, without counting into account any special requirements.

So, when one of the home hunters has a list of health and safety features the dream house has to meet, finding the right property becomes all the more difficult.

Respiratory conditions are one of the most common reasons why home buyers have to extra careful when investing in a new house.

Mold; image source:

When a family member suffers from conditions such as asthma, allergies, lung disease or sinusitis, you should make sure the house is safe before signing the contract. Otherwise, you’ll be faced with unpleasant surprises after moving in. Appraisal companies report that, apart from home value, their clients also want to know how safe houses are prior to the transaction.

In ideal circumstances, if a house is not “healthy” enough for them, they choose another one but, if they can’t afford to do that, at least they find out to what extent they have to repair it. The usual suspects in terms of home health and safety include:

Location – the house is situated in a polluted area

Outdoor home pollution is a common fear of home buyers, which is one of the main reasons why more and more people, especially families with small children, try to buy property on the outskirts or even in the countryside instead of the city center.

Toxic fumes from cars or from nearby industrial sites make the air hard to breathe and aggravate chronic respiratory conditions. Most outdoor pollution sources are obvious, but some require and expert’s eye.

You might want to seek the help of an appraisal specialist to find out if there are any questionable industrial plants nearby. For example, if there is a factory that produces detergents, that could affect water quality.

The house contains traces of asbestos and other hazardous materials

Before the 1970s, home construction wasn’t the subject of harsh regulations, but, as medical research uncovered the harmful side effects of popular building materials, local and international regulations were put into effect, regulating the use of materials such as asbestos, cadmium, lead, mercury and phthalates.

Unfortunately, houses that were built before these regulations still contain these materials (also called Red List building materials) and this poses considerable health threats. Living in a house that contains traces of Red List building materials can cause inflamed sinuses, allergies, asthma, even lung cancer, so if this is a concern to you, you should have the property checked before buying it.

Mold and dampness as a result of poor insulation

While mold, mildew and dampness alone shouldn’t be a reason to turn down a house, they are a perfectly good reason to negotiate the price, because the repairs will cost you a lot of money.

Caused by poor insulation (another common problem in old homes), mold and dampness make a home less comfortable and aggravate respiratory conditions.

Signs of bad insulation are easy to spot around doors and windows, but you should call an expert to check the basement and attic, because those are the most problematic areas.

About author:
This article was contributed to by a guest author.


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