When you’re looking for a house, keeping costs as reasonable as possible is a top priority. On average, about 2% of closing costs are paid by the seller. But when you’re factoring costs in, it’s important to include health hazards in your calculations. Not sure what health hazards to look for when you’re buying a new home? Here are a few to keep in mind.

Lead Paint

Lead paint is one of the most common household health hazards you need to look out for when you’re searching for a new home. If the house you’re looking at was built before 1978, there’s a good chance that you’ll find lead paint somewhere inside. Even if it’s hidden under a few layers of new paint, lead-based paint can create all sorts of health hazards. It’s particularly dangerous if ingested. And since this paint has a tendency to chip, it can be highly accessible to small children and pets. Lead poisoning affects an estimated 535,000 children under the age of six every year in the United States. Whether you have young children or not, making sure the house you’re looking at has been tested for lead paint is an important safety measure. And remember that you’ll need to have any old paint stripped before you repaint the interior of your new home, too. Considering that it takes about four days to paint an average-sized home, you’ll want to set aside some time to have this process completed before you make the big move.

Mold Growth

Mold is a serious health hazard that you need to keep an eye out for when you’re looking at new houses. Not only is it a major air pollutant, but it can introduce health risks if you’re exposed to a high concentration. For people with asthma or weakened immune systems, there can be serious respiratory repercussions. If you’re not sure where to look for mold during your home inspections, it’s a smart move to follow the water. Mold loves warm, moist environments because they’re ideal for growth. A few important places to check include under the kitchen sink, all around the bathroom, and near pipes that are running through the basement. Anywhere moisture is poorly regulated could be a breeding ground for mold growth. It’s always worth paying for a professional inspection to check for mold, as well.

Poisonous Plants

While a well-landscaped patio can increase the value of a home by almost 13%, it’s important to do a thorough check of the front and back lawns for any poisonous plants. This is especially important if you have dogs moving into your new house with you. Some common poisonous plants to look out for when surveying your new yard include:

  • Sago Palms
  • Aloe Vera
  • Amaryllis
  • Gladiolas
  • Tomato Plants
  • Daffodils

If your dogs get into one of these plants, they could face some serious health risks, not to mention an expensive trip to the emergency vet. It’s a good idea to ask about the kinds of plants currently in the yard of the house you’re looking at. In addition, ask about the previous owners. Did they own dogs? Have small children? The answers to these questions could give you a better idea of what (if any) measures were taken to avoid common poisonous plants in the current landscaping.

Searching for a new house can be an exhilarating experience. But if you’re not turning over every stone during your search, you could be walking right into a house full of health hazards. Remember to check for these things in your next house-hunting adventure!