There are so many reasons to consider buying an older home, such as the potential cost savings over buying or building a new one and the rustic charm that you can enjoy and that newer homes just can't replicate. However, you want to ensure that the home is safe for you and your family, so it's important to have it tested for a few common substances before moving in. Whether the home is a fixer-upper or seems to be in pristine condition, you'll want to have a professional come out to check for these three things.

1. Lead Paint

As you might already know, lead is very dangerous and can be highly toxic for you and your family, particularly if you have children who might touch the walls and other areas of the home and then put their fingers in their mouth. Years ago, many types of paint had lead in them, which means that there just might be lead present in the paint that is on the walls of your older home. If the home was built before 1978, you'll want to hire a professional to come out and test for lead paint. If there is lead present, you'll want to have it professionally removed. For more information, visit http://www.colfaxcorp.net or a similar website.

2. Mold

Mold is incredibly common and can become an issue any time that there is moisture and warmth. For example, if the older home that you have purchased has plumbing issues or has had them in the past, then mold could be a concern. If there is mold in your home, it could cause upper respiratory track issues, could trigger asthma symptoms for anyone in your family who has asthma and could cause other problems. The mold could be present in small quantities or could be hidden in the walls or elsewhere where it cannot be seen, so it's a good idea to have a professional come out and look for the presence of mold and mold spores.

3. Asbestos

Asbestos can sometimes be found in older building materials, such as popcorn ceilings. If your home is older, there is a chance that asbestos is present somewhere in the house. Although asbestos is not always harmful -- such as if it is within untampered walls -- it is best to know about its presence and to have any potentially hazardous materials that contain asbestos removed. Since asbestos can actually cause a type of cancer -- mesothelioma -- it's not something that you'll want to take your chances on.

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