1 Item Overlooked When Shopping for a Home

Don’t forget to look up (and around) at the trees before buying your home

At a recent dinner party at a neighbor’s home, the new homeowners started talking to me about their woes with a tree in their backyard. The couple purchased their home in the early spring and spent this summer in their backyard doing major landscaping renovations. It was during this yard work when they started looking more closely at their beautiful (and HUGE) oak tree that is situated very close to their home and noticed a large cavity at the base of the trunk, among other visual warning signs.

The home I bought didn’t have a tree on the property so I wasn’t sure if this was covered under a home inspection. So I asked if during the home inspection the trees, especially this gigantic oak, were looked at and learned this is not something that falls under a home inspection. Most home inspections are a visual review of items related to the physical structure of the home, typically not things like trees, pools or appliances, as these are more specialized types of inspections.

This particular couple ended up having a professional arborist inspect the tree. Their hunch was accurate: This tree was dying and needed to be removed. If you have a large tree on the property you are thinking about buying, here are some things to look out for. If you notice any of these issues with the tree, you should hire a professional arborist to inspect the tree and your Realtor® can help put you in touch with a local tree specialist.

Interested in learning what other areas a home inspectors doesn’t cover? Check out this article.


Main photo image credit: Flickr user NCinDC

Senior Manager, Public Relations & Giving for Coldwell Banker. Grew up in Sarasota and attended college at Western Carolina University. Athena wanted to wake up in that city that doesn’t sleep so headed to Madison Avenue to start her marketing career. She has been with this awesome brand for more than 15 years and can be found generating buzz about CB in every way possible. Athena helps to grow the brand’s position as the most storied real estate company within the industry and has led many high-profile endeavors; she was at the forefront of the brand’s pioneering smart home campaign, raised $6 million in two years to build 130 Habitat for Humanity homes, and led the Homes for Dogs program in partnership with Adopt-a-Pet.com that resulted in tens-of-thousands of dogs finding their furever home. She currently leads the CB Supports St. Jude program, which encourages the Coldwell Banker network’s 96,000+ real estate agents to make donations to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital for every real estate transaction they represent. In her spare time, you can find her either digging up a new area in her yard for another flower bed or planning her next travel adventure. She's the proud mom of three cats Jolene, Ziggy and Lucy.

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