Red Flags When Purchasing a Home

Team Oulahen

When purchasing a home, it’s important to look out for red flags such as buried oil tanks, asbestos, and knob and tube wiring. These hidden defects can be dangerous and costly if not properly dealt with.

The home buying process can be very exciting for new buyers. When purchasing a home, it is crucial to look for patent and latent defects within or around the property. Some common red flags to look out for are:

 Buried Oil Tanks

Before municipalities used natural gas or furnaces, underground oil tanks were fairly common between the 1930s and 1980s.

Ontario now requires homeowners to have any unused underground oil storage tank removed by a certified TSSA licensed individual. Environmental issues could arise if an underground oil tank ruptures. If a rupture occurs it could cause contamination to the surrounding ecosystem. This can end up costing tens of thousands of dollars if remediation is required according to Canadian Home Inspector Services.

Always make sure to ask questions about the heating source of the house when viewing a property. If the sellers are unaware of the situation, make sure to ask your real estate agent as well as complete a physical inspection of the property. Look for a fill pipe, 2-3 inches in diameter, sticking out of the ground near the side or rear of the house.

Image Via: Jonathan Sloane / Getty Images


Asbestos used to be a common building material when constructing a home. Asbestos becomes a serious health hazard when the fibres are displaced and become airborne.

Asbestos can be considered a material latent defect which means that it is not visible and is very dangerous. As a buyer, it is crucial to always research the building materials used in the home. If a renovation has occurred within the house, always make sure to ask if it was asbestos-related. 

If you have purchased a home and discovered asbestos do not try to remediate the problem yourself. You should always hire a professional that specializes in asbestos removal. Asbestos fibres can lead to a variety of health issues including cancer according to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.

Image Via: CDC

Knob and Tube Wiring

Knob and Tube Wiring can be dangerous if not properly maintained. If you are looking into buying an older home you’ll want to ensure that you are aware of the type of wiring in the home.

If you discover knob and tube wiring within your home it is best to update the wiring or contact a licensed electrician for the full price on replacing it. 

Image Via: Canva

Are you looking for a professional Realtor who has experience in construction and extensive sales of homes or condos in Toronto? Contact Oulahen Team Realty today! (416) 222-1212


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