Buying A Home? Make Sure to Look At the Trees

Buying a home, whether it is your first home, second home, forever home, or an apartment that you are moving into for a short period of time, is a momentous occasion. It is something that many people dream about every day of their lives until it happens.

However, sometimes it isn’t as great as people want it to be. They make mistakes when they are looking at properties and they pay for them later. You want to ensure that you look at all aspects of your potential property, including your trees. Trees can pose a lot of danger to your home, so you want to know what you have to face off with – here are a few things to look for:

4. Know Your Rights

entry way
Credit: Bridget Murphy
  • You have a right to inspect the property, including the trees
  • Make sure to talk to the home inspector or even hire your own
  • Realtors can conceal things

It is important to know that people don’t always have your best interests in mind – especially if they are desperate to sell the home. There is a lot of gray area within the law that people can take advantage of – just look at this piece of advice for homesellers from Bank Rate: “By the way, you aren’t obliged to present your report unless contractually bound. Even if the inspector did note the tree problem, it might be considered only an opinion — albeit an opinion buyers might use against you if they sue should one of those behemoth trees comes clattering down on them a few months post-sale.”

So go with your best instincts and know that you cannot necessarily trust anyone but the people you have hired and those that are doing the work for you. Most often, people will be good and truthful about any problems that they see, even if this means they will have to handle it before they move. Still, there are always some people who aren’t truthful, so proceed with caution.

3. Check the Roof

landscaped yard
Credit: Robin Zebrowski
  • You don’t want any tree branches hanging over the roof
  • Inspect for damage if there is something hanging over it
  • Request that the trees are trimmed before sale

One of the biggest suggestions we have for buying a home is to check the tree branches that overhang the home and ask for them to be removed. Reader’s Digest suggests that you work out a deal with the seller to have them cut back before you move into the home.

The same should be done for other areas of the yard as well – a tree branch can do quite a bit of damage. You want to look for branches overhanging pools, sheds, the driveway, hardscaping, powerlines, or anything else that could be destroyed. This is something that you can barter with the current homeowners over – and most often, they will agree to have the branches removed before you move into the home. Make sure that they work with a professional so that the job is done cleanly and correctly.

One note is that you shouldn’t ask for trees or branches removed that don’t pose a threat to you or the structures in your yard. This can be seen as unreasonable and you cannot barter over their removal in most cases – and it could lose you the home.

2. Look For Trees

Green filled yard
Credit: Colby
  • Trees serve so many purposes
  • Trees take a long time to grow
  • A property without trees may signal problems

Since you don’t want to have problems with your trees, should you simply buy a property that doesn’t have trees at all? Absolutely not. Trees are extremely important to the health, safety, and happiness of a property. Without trees, you are actually at a disadvantage. What are some of the benefits? The Chicago Tribune explains: “They are essential to a property’s visual appeal. They purify the air, their roots soak up storm water that might otherwise seep into the basement, and their shade helps cool the home.”

You simply want to have trees that are healthy and sturdy. Homes that don’t have trees might signal that there was some sort of problem. It could show you that the soil wasn’t healthy enough to grow trees or it could show you that the people who lived in the house before you didn’t take good care of them.

Whatever the situation is, a yard without trees can be a warning sign that something isn’t quite right.

1. Talk To Your Home Inspector About Trees and Shrubs

yard with trees
Credit: Tropic 7
  • Most will naturally look at them
  • Consider hiring one that specializes in trees
  • Make sure they know where your property ends

According to Realtor, you want to ensure that if you hire a home inspector, they also inspect the outside of your home. This means that they look at the shrubbery, trees, plant life, hardscaping, and more. Most home inspectors are thorough, but younger ones or those that don’t understand the scope of your property might not realize how many trees you have.

If possible, walk around with the home inspector. They will be able to point things out that could potentially pose a problem in the coming years. If there are a lot of trees on your potential property, you may even want to consider hiring an arborist who knows how to handle large amounts of trees.

If you are going to buy a home, congratulations, you are entering into one of the most amazing portions of your life. Building a life in a new home is so special, and you should give yourself the best chance to be happy when you are there. To do this, you want to ensure that you have anticipated any of the problems you may face both inside and outside. People often forget their trees – so make sure you do not.

At Portland Tree Service, we can help you with all of your tree care needs – and we will bring our own tools. We can help you throughout all the parts of the tree care life cycle, from planting new trees to taking down older ones. This even includes helping you to safely move trees. For more information about our services, give us a call today at (503) 941-0922.

Header photo courtesy of American Advisors Group on Flickr!