It’s always exciting to get a home under contract; whether it is your perfect dream home or a bit of a fixer upper. While it may not be the first thing on your mind, it’s always important to protect your investment by doing your due diligence. It’s highly recommended that you perform an inspection before buying any property, because even new build homes could have serious defects. Three of the most notorious defects in the real estate world are mold, lead paint and Chinese drywall, and here’s why:

Mold – Sometimes referred to as “the M word” in the real estate world, mold can cause serious health problems as well as be a costly fix. Mold is dangerous to your health because it can spread quickly and spores can easily get into your airways, creating a stuffy nose, irritated eyes and even shortness of breath. The tricky thing with mold is that it isn’t always visible and can be growing in your walls or air ducts. Black mold is especially hazardous to your health and you should contact a mold specialist if you feel your home may be affected.

Lead Paint – Any home built before 1978 could potentially have lead paint on the walls. In fact, almost two-thirds of the homes built before 1940 contain heavily-leaded paint. It wasn’t until 1978 that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission lowered the legal maximum lead content in most kinds of paint. The reason lead paint is so dangerous is because lead gives paint a sweet flavor, which can be ingested by pets and young children. Lead paint dust can also be breathed in and have a significant impact on your child’s cognitive abilities, their hearing and even their coordination. Children are most affected because their brain and nervous system are undergoing constant changes. Luckily, you can test for lead paint in homes built before 1978 and should always take this precaution.

Chinese Drywall – Chinese drywall was imported into the U.S. starting in 2001 when the housing market was booming and both Florida and New Orleans were rebuilding from a series of hurricane hits. This drywall has been found to have volatile chemicals, which give off an odor of rotten eggs. The chemicals in Chinese drywall and made worse when temperature and humidity increase and they cause copper surfaces to turn black and powdery. Health symptoms from Chinese drywall include asthma attacks, coughing and difficulty in breathing. You should be especially careful when buying a home built from 2003-2008. It’s always important to check for Chinese drywall, as the only remedy is ripping out all the drywall and starting over, which can become an extremely costly process.

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