Little extra money, many projects

When you purchase a new house the buyer is often short of extra cash. Here are my priorities before moving into a house.

1) The Roof

 If the roof leaks badly it can very quickly comprise the structural integrity of the structure.

2) Termites

Termites work quietly and efficiently to literally eat you out of house and home. Usually the buyer pays for the termite inspection, but the seller is responsible for termite abatement.

These first two items are so important that many banks will not issue a mortgage without a good report on the condition of the roof or termite damage, or they may issue a provisional mortgage provided the offending condition is fixed with a short period.

3) Asbestsos Removal

If the asbestsos in your new home is not friable ( peeling off ) or is sealed, you may not have to remove the asbestsos. In some older homes asbestsos was mixed in the plaster used in the walls, while I would probably feel comfortable knowing that this asbestsos was not getting into the air in my house. I do know of someone who gutted his house, because of this.

Buyers are often very uptight about asbestsos and want to remove it immediately and entirely. My recommendation is that you hire a qualified licensed asbestsos removal firm. This is NOT a “do it yourself” project. I also recommend that you and your family are NOT present while the work is done.

4) Electrical Systems

Housing codes in the NYC area are pretty good, and most banks will insist that fuses are replaced with circuit breakers. Please be aware that Federal Pacific Electrical Panels no longer have U L approval and should be replaced. Also while a hundred amp service is the minimum required for a one family home, I would strongly recommend more than the minimum.

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