Your Trusted Tree Company Shares What to Look for When Buying a New House

January 15, 2020

Buying a house is both exciting and nerve wracking. But every year, more than 5.34 million homes sell to new owners, so if you’re in the market, you’re in good company. Though every home is unique and has different features that set it apart, you’ll need to keep an eye out for any possible issues that could make the property hard to own. We’re not talking about a strange paint job or outdated appliances…we’re talking about major landscaping threats that put the entire property at risk. As your trusted tree company, we want to help you make the best choice possible. Here are some of the most worrisome landscaping issues to watch for.

Low Hanging Limbs
It should come as no surprise that low-hanging limbs and branches are never a good thing. They can scrape along the siding of the house, pull off shingles, and even do extensive roof damage if they fall on the home. 

When you’re touring properties, make sure to watch for any limbs hanging over the house or driveway. If they’re arching down or close to the roofline, you’ll want to get those removed if you buy the property. You may be able to negotiate that tree trimming as part of the deal with the seller. 

However, if you see that the limbs are actively resting on the roof, proceed with caution. There’s a good chance the roof is damaged and will need extensive repairs before the house is safe. You can always call a roofer and let them inspect the roof prior to buying the house. If they deem it safe, you’ll still need to get the limbs trimmed back as soon as you can.

Plants Along the Base of the House
Landscaping along the front and sides of the house is a great way to add value and visual appeal to the property. However, it can also be a red flag. At first glance, you never know if the house behind those plants is in good shape or if it’s been damaged and the homeowner is trying to hide something.

Walk around the exterior of the house and see if you can peek behind those plants. Look for excess puddles along the side of the house and be mindful of any cracks in the siding or foundation. These could be indicative of major damage that threatens the structural integrity of the house. 

If there are any trees close the house, you may want to think about having them relocated. Leaving trees growing right against the siding puts the foundation at further risk of cracks. As the roots grow and spread out, they can push against the building materials, leading to an increase in leaks, pests, and other damage.

Worn Out Irrigation Systems
Most modern irrigation systems are designed to only be exposed when they’re in use. Otherwise, they retract and sit flush with the ground. If you see exposed sprinkler heads, you’re likely dealing with a worn out irrigation system. Even if it’s currently working, you’ll want to replace it sooner rather than later. Otherwise, you may end up with unexpected leaks and higher-than-normal water bills.

This can end up costing you thousands while also putting the rest of the landscaping at risk. Remember, overwatering trees, shrubs, and flowerbeds can cause the roots to mold and rot. When this happens, many of those plants will have to be removed and replaced with new healthy trees. Leaving them in place puts the rest of your home and garden at risk.

Moss and Mildew on the Siding

Exposed Roots 
Tree roots are supposed to be covered by dirt at all times. But sometimes, the layer of protective topsoil gets washed and eroded away. When this happens, the lower layers of tree roots get exposed to the elements. 

While it’s not an immediate problem, it is something you’ll need to address if you decide to buy the house. Leaving the roots exposed leaves them vulnerable to the sun’s UV rays as well as pests and insects. Worse, if the erosion continues, the tree may become unstable. 

Pay attention to the base of any tree on the property. If the roots are only partially exposed, the tree shouldn’t need much maintenance. But if they’re starting to show much more, it’s best to get them inspected before you agree to the sale. This way, you’ll be able to negotiate any tree removal or stump grinding costs with the seller. 

Cracked or Bulging Pavement
Unfortunately, roots don’t always grow in predictable patterns. When they spread out in search of nutrients and water, they can impact the structures on your property. This includes your driveway, foundation, and the siding of the house. Worse, the cost of repairs can be extremely high. 

Take a look around the walkways and driveway. Look for any cracks or bulges in the cement that look like the ground is getting pushed up from underneath the pavement. You’ll want to get this fixed by a professional, but you should be able to use that damage in the negotiations for the sale. 

Anything That Looks Too High-Maintenance
Ultimately, you’ll still need to maintain your landscaping and trees after you buy the house. This means you need to be comfortable with the amount of work every yard you’re considering will require. If a property looks like it will be too high-maintenance for your preferences, you may want to keep looking.

While a professional can help you care for your trees and handle any pruning and trimming you may need, it’s still up to you to make sure everything looks great between appointments. The last thing you want to do when buying a new house is take on more than you can handle.

Trust your instincts and buy the house that feels like the best fit. 

Call the Pros
If you’ve found a house that you love, but still want an experienced pro to inspect the trees for hidden damage and issues, don’t wait. Contact your local tree service experts in Denver to schedule an appointment today. 
Go Back