Water and Electric - Things to Watch Out for When Buying an Older Glenview Home

Real Estate Agent with The Marla Schneider Team



Problems?Did you know the number one cause of damage in an older home is water? It's true. And, gutters and downspouts are the leading cause of water damage. So, if you're thinking of purchasing an older home in the Glenview area, check the gutters and downspouts. If they're plugged-up or coming loose from the house, be aware that this can cause water to overflow and wind up rotting trim boards and gaining entrance to the home.

Water damage can also happen on the lower parts of a house. As a home ages, the earth around it naturally settles allowing rain or irrigation water to run towards the home's foundation. The porous stone foundations that many older homes have can't repel ground water sufficiently and problems can arise.

Outdated electrical systems in homes over 40-years-old are also something you'll want to watch out for. Back in the day, when homes didn't use all the electrical appliances and gadgets that they do today, lower amperages were sufficient. Today's homes, however, need AT LEAST a 100-amp system. If you see a 60-amp fuse box in a home you're thinking of buying, you should probably be prepared to lay out some money for upgraded home wiring if you purchase that house.

Other clues that the electrical system is insufficient and probably downright dangerous are lots of extension cords and plug adapters in use, burn marks around switches and outlets, and rooms with no outlets in them at all. Also, check to see if there is aluminum wiring in place which is a fire hazard and no longer used for home wiring. A home with these problems could very likely need a whole new electrical system to bring it up to modern standards, and this can be very expensive.

While it's good to look for these things yourself as you shop for a new home, it also emphasizes the fact that when you decide on the home you want to purchase, getting a home inspection from a certified home inspector is the best way to protect yourself against problems that could turn your dream home into a money pit.

If you're planning on buying a home in the Glenview, Wilmette, Northbrook, or North Shore area, give the Marla Schneider Team a call today at 847-657-3790 or contact us online. We are area real estate experts and can help you find the perfect home while making sure it meets all of today's high-quality building standards and codes.


Comments (7)

Susanna Haynie
CO-RE Group, LLC -Real estate sales and services - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realtor GRI CNE MCNE ePro MRP

Marla, so true! A home inspections are an absolute must when purchasing a home!

Nov 06, 2012 07:54 AM
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

Very good post Marla.  This is why we always recommend to our clients to have a home inspection.  You never know what you are going to find.  

Nov 06, 2012 08:30 PM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Marla, good advice for anyone looking to purchase an older home.A home inspection is a must.

Nov 06, 2012 09:29 PM
Rob Ernst
Certified Structure Inspector - Reno, NV
Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor

Moisture is a detriment to any home and needs to be controlled. Air currents move more moisture in the home than anything else. So a moisture propblem in one area can cause problems in another. Electrical should alwyas be kept up and maintained as the years go on.

Nov 07, 2012 01:34 AM
vicky feldman
West Coast Restoration - Los Angeles, CA

Electric and Water can create a mess if the get out of their mind. So, its important to get them checked at intervals. If electric goes bad, an electrician can fix it up in hours time but if water goes naughty, it will leave your house flooded. DO check the water tanks for cracks before moving in and if by any chance you happen to have a water leak issue, we are there to help.

Nov 07, 2012 03:39 PM
Marla Schneider
The Marla Schneider Team - Glenview, IL
Move with Marla

Even if you're not moving, you should probably check these things every few years anyway. Thanks for the comments, everyone.

Nov 11, 2012 06:49 AM
Ridhi Raheja
Movement Mortgage (Illinois) - Naperville, IL
FHA, 203k, VA, Jumbo, PreApproval, Jumbo Home Loan

Marla, I agree with you. Even if you are not moving, checking things like these is a must.
Also, for those who are yet to buy a home, water and electrical systems are one of the things that every home inspector should be keen about.

Feb 07, 2013 01:31 AM