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If you bought a house with no maintenance issues big or small, let me know. That would be one for the record books. In reality, most homeowners find a problem, quirk, shortcoming, whatever, within the first couple of months of buying their new home. These problems are usually never asked or thought of.

1. Has There Ever Been a Busted Pipe? A broken pipe isn’t rare; in fact, water damage caused by a frozen or burst pipe is a leading cause of homeowner’s insurance claims, at around 22% of all home insurance losses, according to the Insurance Information Institute. What bursts? Typically exposed water pipes in unheated basements and crawl spaces, along with exterior faucets. There are usually tell- tell signs when a pipe bursts, but with a little bit of paint and know how, those signs can disappear.

2. How Old is the Roof? Knowing the approximate age will give you a good idea of how soon you’ll face — and need to budget for — repairs or replacement. A new roof is no small matter: It could cost you in the 10 to 20 thousand range depending on material, labor and size of your roof.

3. Any Infestations of Termites, Carpenter Ants, or Other Pests? This should be disclosed by the previous owner at time of sale. But even if the owner dealt with a past infestation — and can offer proof, such as a receipt for pest control — that doesn’t mean the little buggers have been totally eliminated.

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