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Doing a Property Search in the Northeast? How the Recent Weather Can Help Your Decision

feb-blogThere are very few, if any, regions in the northeastern United States that haven’t been affected by the high levels of rain and snow that’s been falling all winter. If you are conducting a property search, whether for a commercial location or to find a home, chances are you have noticed something in common with the properties you’ve been shown so far this year.

They’re all wet.

Buying real estate always presents a certain level of risk, but believe it or not, if you are in the midst of a property search right now, you have an advantage over others who have searched to find a home under sunny skies at 70 degrees.

This onslaught of rain, snow sleet, ice and lower than low temperatures means that properties are retaining water, low-lying areas are flooding and water and sewer systems are struggling to swallow the results of the deluge. Flood damage can be an expensive and ongoing concern for homeowners. Thanks to the recent weather, you have the chance to mitigate your risk in this area.

When you are walking properties these days, you have the benefit of seeing how your potential location, the home itself, the surrounding property and the neighborhood as a whole, is holding up against Mother nature’s latest attentions.

Use Your Senses to Your Advantage
If you are looking to find a home with a basement, you’re probably well aware that flooding is a potential. Well, in properties with basements, walk the edges of the room, paying close attention to the bottom of walls and any existing seams. These are the thru-ways for potential flooding. Also, tune your nose into any smell of mold, or bleach, which could acknowledge previous water issues that had been cleaned up for your inspection.
When walking the property itself, press your feet down in the corners by the house, look for inclines or declines that lead to and from the house. An extra spongy corner on the property could show water being trapped, which could cause problems later.

Height Matters
For any property to be able to stand up to constant precipitation and temperatures that deter drying out, how high the base of your home is equal to or above the average ground height in the area affects the amount of water that runs “down” to your yard. In other words, is your property on a hill, in a flat area or in a valley? It’s best to try and avoid valley or gully locations for the very simple reason that water, and everything else, runs downhill.

Neighborhood Input
Once you’ve walked the house and property, take time to look around the immediate neighborhood. How does your house line up as far as evenness of the ground, is it uphill or downhill to your neighbors, does their property seem to be in the same state of moisture level? Do the gutters look clear or full of standing water, ice and snow?

If you’re lucky enough to catch a prospective neighbor outside, ask the about water issues they face and any they may know of in the neighborhood.

Buying real estate is never risk-free, but you can really use the recent weather to your advantage as recon on the properties you are researching. Keep your eyes and nose open to the signs of potential water issues and then talk to your real estate agent about the property that stays dry under the pressure.

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