Watch Out for These Common Repairs if You’re a First Time Home-Buyer

Existing Home Sales

Recently, when discussing the woes of being a first-time homebuyer, a friend scoffed and said to me, “You are not a first-time homebuyer. This is your second home,” when I discussed all the repairs our new home needed. I was a little taken aback, but then I reminded her that I am. This might be our second home, but it’s the first one we’ve bought. When we moved into our first home 10 years ago, we built it. We built it from the ground up. Everything about the house was brand new. It was not a previously lived in home, and I can assure you that after buying a ‘previously loved’ home 9 months ago, that there is a really, really, really significant difference, and that does make me a first-time homebuyer.

I would have been prepared to build again if we’d chosen to stick with our original plan to build a new home. But then we stumbled across this home, and it was our dream home. Every single thing about this home was our dream, from the neighborhood to the outdoor living spaces to the style of the home; dream home. So our plans changed. And boy did that teach me a lesson. I used to say I never wanted to build again because it was so stressful. But I honestly do think that buying an existing home is far more taxing and stressful than building, because there are endless expenses and repairs that need to be made. Aside from hoping the house appraises for what it’s worth and that the inspection goes through without a hitch, there are so many things that make buying a home entirely too stressful for my taste. And mostly, it’s the common repairs that are required when you purchase a home that’s been here for a while.


Plumbing is always a concern when you purchase an existing home. We were not worried about plumbing for one reason in particular. This house was built the same year as our other home. We never had plumbing issues there, so why worry about it here? Well, we had to replace the faucets in the kitchen, all three bathrooms and the laundry room. Every one of them was corroded and leaking from sitting unused for five years. Additionally, our shower heads in all three bathrooms needed replacement, we needed a water heater replacement, and all three toilets in this house leaked like crazy.

Septic Issues

We moved into this house one beautiful, cool Saturday in October. Around 8 pm, someone used the master bathroom. Upon flushing, the walk-in shower began spewing water from the drain and before we knew it, our bathroom was flooded and headed into the master bedroom. Turns out, our septic tank was quite full. Couldn’t do anything about it that night, but first thing Sunday morning found us with the septic tank repair company paying a weekend fee to have the tank drained and the drain field lid replaced since so many roots from trees and grown right through it. Nice.

Water Damage

We were fortunate enough not to have water damage in this house, but it does happen. Our toilets had been leaking, but the water was turned off here for years. If it hadn’t been, we could have been looking at costly water damage that might have included mold control. If you have the same issue, you may view website for professional plumbing services.

Air Conditioner Issues

Since the family who built our home lost it to foreclosure, it’s been sitting vacant for about 5 years. Someone helped themselves to just about everything from the cabinets in the kitchen to the air conditioner, so we were fortunate that a brand new air conditioner was installed by an air conditioning installation service just before we put an offer on the house. However, it’s a very common issue that old air conditioners no longer work, parts are broken and they might be well past their prime. This is often an issue for homeowners who purchase a home of a certain age and are always in need of an air conditioning repair. According to a nearby HVAC technician, regular air conditioning repair and Boise furnace replacement should be done. For this instance, you may visit sites like to hire hvac professionals. You can also look up ac tune up near me in Pompano Beach, FL to see nearby contractors.

Garage Doors

Because our garage door sat unused for so long, so many things went wrong with it that we had to call a garage door repair contractor to have it inspected and fixed. Most recently, it’s come to our attention that the sensors are off and it frequently thinks that there is something in front of it when there is not, and the door will not close using our remotes or cars. We have to have them replaced this week.

Windows and Doors

It’s important to understand that one of the most common repairs you might have to make in a new home is new caulking around your windows and doors. I don’t know if it just begins to corrode over time or if other things happen, but sometimes you’ll notice cracks and leaks and your house requires you to go through and make these repairs so that it is properly insulated.

An issue we ran into is that perhaps because these doors were not used for 5 years, my exterior home office door, our front door, the two doors in the living room, the French doors that lead to the enclosed patio and the door that leads from the master to the patio are all very difficult to open. On two of them, it was the handles that were broken. On another, the lock and the door were not lined up. One another, it seems that the door is almost too big for the frame. Apparently, this happens.

Door Handles

It’s more of an upgrade than a repair but if you buy a home someone already lived in, you want to replace all the door locks for what is a very good reason. You have no idea how many keys are floating around in the world that the previous owners gave away. You just don’t know. Do yourself a favor and get those handles replaced, change the locks and make sure your home is not accessible to anyone but yourself.

There are many issues that are less common that first-time buyers might experience, and there are some that you will never experience. I cannot tell you what will go wrong in your new home, just that sometimes things do go wrong and it’s up to you to get them handled.

Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images


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