Homeowners complain about problems with existing homes

Consumer group Angie's List says there have been numerous problems reported regarding homes built during the housing boom. 

Angie Hicks, of Angie's List, says "If you own a home built between 1997 and 2007 or you're considering buying a home during that time get a home inspection. No one likes to be surprised and by getting a home inspection they'll be able to point out potential problems that you can take care of and plan for instead of being surprised."

According to Angie's List the large number of homes being built during that time made it difficult for housing code authorities to enforce proper building methods.

Some of the problems mentioned include  poor drywall and carpentry work, structural and plumbing roubles, bad roofing jobs, insufficient insulation and dangerous electrical wiring.

Angie's List offers these tips for current homeowners/potential buyers of housing boom-built homes:
· If you own a home built during the housing boom (1997-2007), or are considering purchasing one, hire a reputable home inspector-  one who is independent of a real estate agent or builder - to help find problems related to the construction. An inspector can also offer guidance on the best way to rectify any issues.
· Not all states require home inspectors to be licensed, but they should still be qualified. Check your inspector's credentials - ask for proof of licensing, if it's required, as well as proof of insurance and independent certification, such as from the National Association of Home Inspectors - and always do your research before you hire.

Angie's List tips for hiring a home builder:
· Research the company as thoroughly as you can prior to entering into a contract. Use Angie's List to learn about how the home builder  dealt with others in your area. Walk away if you learn something that makes you question the builder's ability to complete the job.
· Take a look at projects your builder has in the works. If progress seems to be halted or slow going, it could be a sign of trouble. Also, ask for the names of the company's most recent buyers. Ask them about their experience with the builder and the builder's responsiveness. They might let you even come over and look at their home.
· Check with your local courthouse for liens against the builder from subcontractors who have not been paid. That is a big warning sign of financial instability.

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