Are you house-hunting? If anything about the process is almost universally true, it’s this. It’s much easier to fall in love with a property that comes with a luscious green garden with some big trees than one with a barren and concrete-rich yard.
Trees can offer plenty of important benefits — but make no mistake. Trees can absolutely be a very big problem when you are buying a house, as well. Here’s what you need to know.
Are Trees a Problem When Buying a House?
What Benefits Can Trees Offer?
Having trees on your property can offer many benefits. Trees can be stunning and add visual appeal to a yard, but they can also add a much-appreciated privacy barrier that prevents nosy neighbors and curious passersby from peeking through your windows. That applies to noise, too — having a collection of trees and shrubs in your yard can significantly reduce the traffic sounds you are exposed to.
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons to consider a property that already has mature trees would be the potential energy savings. When trees are placed strategically, they can provide an additional layer of “insulation” and keep your home protected from strong winds and the associated energy costs. They can also block out a great deal of sunlight, which could reduce your reliance on air conditioning during the hot summer months.
What Dangers Can Trees Pose?
None of these reasons to welcome trees on the property, close to the home you are thinking about buying, outweigh the huge risks that trees planted too close to a house can bring, however. Trees that have invasive roots and stand too close to the foundation of a property can:
- Cause insidious cracks in the foundation that can, in some cases, ultimately threaten the structural integrity of the entire house.
- Lead to cracked water pipes that will be extremely expensive to fix, not to mention causing a lot of hassle.
- If they are tall and heavy enough, fall down and cause damage to the house as well as (potentially serious) injury to the occupants or anyone else who happens to be near.
- In the case of people suffering from tree pollen allergies, cause suffering whenever allergy season starts.
How Do You Know Whether the Trees on a Property Are a Problem?
The short answer is simple — your home inspector can pick up on this, and if they feel they are not qualified to offer the best possible analysis, they will advise you to additionally hire an arborist to assess what type of danger the trees in question may pose to the property and its occupants.
You can begin carrying a preliminary assessment out yourself when you attend an open house, though. Trees should generally be located at least 15 feet from the foundation, and a little further in the case of very large trees. No visible cracks should be present in the foundation walls, and driveways and walkways should show no signs of root activity. Dead trees are always warning signs, however, as they are much more likely to fall and wreak havoc.
These pointers can help you rule out the thought of putting in an offer on certain properties, but if you remain interested and aren’t sure if the trees are a problem, then ask a qualified home inspector.
Omaha Tree Services
At Omaha Tree, our mission is to provide tree care services & mulch products that improve the HEALTH, BEAUTY, & SAFETY of our customers’ trees. We recycle all of our wood waste material from the trees we trim and remove in the greater Omaha metro area. The wood waste material is brought back to our 8-acre site at 3606 McKinley Street, where it is processed into a beautiful & consistent mulch product that is local, fresh, and clean. Contact us today.