Buying A Home? Read These Tips Before You Commit


There is nothing quite like getting your first home.  After years of paying rent, signing the papers that make you a home owner is quite exciting.

The pitfalls that come when buying a home are many and it’s better to be aware of them before you sign those papers. So, what are some of the things you need to be aware when looking to buy a home? A thorough home inspection is absolutely a necessity.  The roof, foundation, water heater, furnace, and air conditioning are expensive home repairs you do not want to overlook when inspecting the home. Make sure the home inspector is a licensed professional with a good reputation before you hire him/her for the job.

Follow the links below to read more about this very important topic.

Buying an Old House? Here Are 5 of the Scariest Issues You Could Face

Many investors dive headfirst into real estate simply because it can bring high returns. However, those with more experience know that renting or flipping a home doesn’t always …

Many investors dive headfirst into real estate simply because it can bring high returns. However, those with more experience know that renting or flipping a home doesn’t always put you in the green, particularly if the house is subject to a number of serious issues.

Sometimes, when you tour a house or look at listing photos, the outdated fixtures can throw you off. For example, Formica countertops and closed off quarters can be a turn-off to investors. However, this is all cosmetic and can be easily fixed. It will cost a little extra, but these little changes won’t compromise the entire structure of your home.

When looking for a house, you must carefully watch for signs of issues that will cost tens of thousands to fix and potentially render the property unprofitable. If you see any of the following signs, think twice before making a purchase.

Home inspection checklist: What to inspect

If you’ve signed a contract to purchase a home, a key step before completing the sale is getting a professional home inspection. Make sure to keep this home inspection checklist handy – the inspection is often the last chance you’ll have to go inside the home before the final walkthrough.

“In my experience, the majority of homebuyers don’t know that much about what they are buying and are relying on the inspection to fill in the many gaps in their knowledge,” says home inspector Scott Brown, owner of Brightside Home Inspections in Syracuse, New York.

If your purchase agreement has an inspection contingency — and it should — a home inspection that reveals serious flaws can allow you to walk away from the deal without penalty. It can also allow you to ask the seller to make repairs before closing, saving you money and potentially some hassle.

A 5-Point Checklist for Buying Your First Home

Get these out of the way before you start house-hunting.

Are you buying a home for the first time? Before you start looking at wrap-around porches and bay windows, here are five things you need to do.

  1. Get your credit reports straight. The interest you’ll pay on your mortgage depends on how creditworthy your bank thinks you are. That means you have to cast yourself in the best light. Order all three of your credit reports — from TransUnion, Experian and Equifax — about a year before you start looking. Fix any mistakes.
  2. Set a budget. One good rule of thumb is to make sure your house doesn’t cost more than 2.5 times your salary. If your household income is $100,000, then $250,000 should be your max.
  3. Figure out which type of mortgage you want. So this breaks down to: fixed-rate versus adjustable rate. A fixed-rate loan is when the interest rate and payment stays constant for the entire loan, usually 15 or 30 years. An adjustable-rate mortgage has a fixed interest rate that then resets after a certain period. A good rule of thumb is that if you can afford a home only if you get an adjustable-rate mortgage, then you can’t afford a home.

Preventing A Leaking Basement

stock-photo-22083798-water-damaged-basementThe end of summer is here, and with it comes the task of putting away all you gardening tools, lawnmower, trimmers and everything you needed to make your garden look beautiful this year.

Fall is fast approaching, and one of the most important steps you can take to keep water away from your home and basement is keeping the gutters clean and free of debris.  Leaves and dirt that have accumulated there will make rain overflow and accumulate near the foundation of your home, making seepage more likely and a wet or damp basement the clear product of that accumulation.

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How to protect your basement from leaks

A leaky basement causes nothing but headaches.  Not only does the water damage your finishings, but mold can start grow, leading to health problems. Instead of spending time sopping up water and trying to get rid of mold, it’s best to stop the water at its source.

When it comes to waterproofing your home, there are several options available to you.

Outside, a bobcat can be brought in to dig down beside your foundation.  Once it’s exposed, a waterproofing solution can be applied to the concrete, keeping the water outside.  After it has been sealed, the earth is put back and sloped away from the house.

Preventive tips for leaky basement

Look For Obvious Solutions.

The cause of a wet or damp basement can be minor, readily apparent, and easily corrected. Here are some probable causes and possible solutions:

Problem: The source of water in the basement cannot be identified.

Solution: To determine whether the water is seeping in from the outside or condensation inside, tape a twelve-inch square of aluminum foil to a wall that is prone to dampness, sealing all four sides as airtight as possible. In a day or two, if the side of the foil that was against the wall is wet, the problem is seepage. If the outside is wet, it’s condensation. Inside, tape a twelve-inch square of aluminum foil t

Tips to Waterproofing Your Basement

I’m not sure you can ever completely waterproof your basement. Even in the best cases, you should still approach the project with a mindset of reality, knowing that this is a below-grade space and that there is always the possibility of water infiltration. Still, you gotta do what you gotta do. Here are a few tips:

  • Deal with exterior foundation waterproofing issues.
  • Slope earth away from your house.
  • Divert downspouts at least 6 feet away from house.
  • Apply waterproofing to exterior foundation wall.
  • Install a french drain.
  • Fill in foundation wall cracks.

o a wall that is prone to dampness, sealing all four sides as airtight as possible. In a day or two, if the side of the foil that was against the wall is wet, the problem is seepage. If the outside is wet, it’s condensation.

What type of basement waterproofing company is a safe contractor for your foundation waterproofing ?


If you have basement water leaks you are likely dreading the quest for a basement waterproofing company to handle your foundation waterproofing needs.  There are horror stories out there about foundation waterproofing out high pressure salesmen and war zone like jobsites / dirty disasters to clean up and so on.  So what should you look for?

The obvious is check with the BBB but there are a few tips with what to look for there.  Look to see if the basement waterproofing company is accredited.  This means they are a member.  The BBB reports on all businesses, members or not so the only way you know they are a member is to be sure you call accredited listings.  Then you should look beyond the A B C score to check out BBB complaints.  Members and non members can score an A and have several open complaints.  It is based on size of business and employees.  And as long as the company responds to the complaints they get an A.

Try Angies List for your basement waterproofing company search.  This membership based (very low fee well worth it) database has golden input from customers.  You will see basement waterproofing cost listed, and in the customers own words how the basement waterproofing contractor performed graded in several areas.

Get referrals…ask for something specific so they cant just hand you a prepared before hand list.  Ask your co-workes, family and neighbors.  The best basement waterproofing companies will always be the ones that gain most of their business by referrals.

In northeast Ohio such as Akron Canton Medina Kent and surrounding areas check out Pioneer Basement Solutions.  See the Angies List report here.

Why do basement waterproofing contractors offer different basement systems?


There are specific reasons why basement waterproofing contractors offer different basement systems to solve basement water leaks and problems associated with foundations.

The number one reason is most basement waterproofing contractors only actually install one type of system.  Many of these contractors incorporate into their “sales pitch” a review of all types of basement waterproofing solutions in a way that leads their customers to the one they want to sell, the only one they actually install.

Those that area interior basement waterproofing contractors will exaggerate or emphasise the extent of disturbance to the exterior surrounding your foundation and the “nightmare” will scare you away from  exterior basement waterproofing.

Those that only install exterior basement waterproofing will present a very logical argument that all water comes from outside and thus that is the only “right” way to fix your basement water leaks.

Then you have basement waterproofing contractors who sell patented basement systems and do so because they are looking for that edge in the sales process to rule out all competition.  Their “patented system” is very impressive, again logical in how it solves the foundation problem because they have highly trained sales people that sell their one solution over and over in the same way day after day and get very good at it.

Do yourself a favor if you have interviewed any of the above type of basement waterproofing companies and seek out another opinion from a full service basement waterproofing company that can prove they actually install all types of basement waterproofing solutions with references, pictures etc…

And take a look at Better Business Bureau complaint reports (not just the “Grade”) as well as consider a referral source like Angie’s List.

For more info visit: basement systems and foundation waterproofing 

What type of foundation waterproofing makes sense

There are so many different opinions on what basement systems will work when shopping for a solution that it may be difficult to know what type of foundation waterproofing makes sense.  I often hear prospective customers tell me that they get different solutions from contractors and they ask why do they not all see the problem the same way and recommend the same foundation waterproofing solution.

To begin with most basement waterproofing contractors focus on one solution.  The either offer exterior basement waterproofing or interior basement waterproofing and naturally will only recommend what they sell.  They often have convincing arguments for their solution which is what makes it so difficult to choose a foundation waterproofing solution.

First identify the problem.  Do you have wet basement walls that are wet up high to mid wall?  Do you have wet basement walls only at the very bottom where the floor meets the wall?  Do you not really have wet walls much or at all but have water in the basement on the floor?

The first scenario, wet basement walls will most likely mean the original seal of the foundation is bad and needs replaced…if accessible (that is key).  This means you have surface water issues that need to be looked at and solved with exterior basement waterproofing or other solutions such as new gutters and downspout lines.

The other scenarios may be simple ground water build up under the foundation which is best solve with interior basement waterproofing solutions.  You may even have a combination of issues and need a combination solution.

Look for basement waterproofing contractors who are truly full service offering all types of foundation waterproofing solutions and can customize the solution to fit your specific needs rather than sell you their one size fits all basement systems.

For more info visit: foundation waterproofing