Your guide to finding weatherproof homes in the Pacific Northwest
According to the Weather Channel, Seattle sees 152 rainy days every year. Weather DB noted that Portland, Oregon, sees about 39.14 inches or rain per year, which is on par with the rest of the nation's averages - not exceptionally rainy, despite the common misconception. Denver, on the other hand, has only 15.54 inches of rainfall per year, according to U.S. Climate Data. But around 55 inches of snow also falls, which can certainly still lead to leaks and flooding. With all of the excess moisture in these regions, it's crucial to know that the roof over your head is protected [no pun intended]. So, if you're shopping for real estate in the Pacific Northwest or considering a move in your near future, follow these tips to find a property that boasts the appropriate weatherproofing:
Ask about the home's history
Real estate website Zillow explained that seller home disclosures can include anything from mentions of leaky windows to notices about ongoing local construction noises. It's important to note, though, that the laws on what homeowners must share in their disclosures are different from state to state. Look into what is required in the PNW state in which you're looking to make your new home purchase.
You can always directly ask the realtor or the homeowner (if you're in touch) if there are any leaks from the roof, windows or the plumbing. Also ask about history such as when the home was built as well as the timing of any upgrades like room renovations or exterior updates. The newer the roof, windows, plumbing, and other 'weather affected' features are, the less likely they are to cause problems in the future. Keep in mind, too, that when you make an offer on a house, you can request that the seller makes specific changes before you move in, such as replacing an old window or upgrading some questionable shingles on the roof. Talk with your realtor about what changes you'd be willing to make yourselves versus what are deal breakers if not fixed by the current homeowner.
Consider the roof
The very first feature most people think of when wondering about the moist air of the PNW is the roof as it takes the brunt of being out in wet conditions all year. Don't just look at the roofing tiles - the gutters and rain-spouts are also a crucial part of funneling off access water from damaging your home. Keeping these features clean and in good shape can greatly reduce the chances of leaking in the roof. When browsing your potential new home, also note if any shingles are starting to curl. If the edges are pointing upward or there are clear bubbles in the shingles, this may indicate a current leak or one that is about to start. Weathering like this can require a whole new roof within a few years - an expense you should be aware of before putting a down payment on a home.
Watch for waterproof yard features
As the PNW regions receive so much rain and snow year round, backyards often remain muddy for a good portion of the year. Muddy, dead yards aren't necessarily appealing to people who want to get out and enjoy some outdoor space in their new home. To fix the issue, current/prospective homeowners may install artificial turf. Artificial turf promotes drainage of rain, snow and liquid pet waste, allowing your lawn to stay green all year-round and to easily handle the ample amounts of moisture from Mother Nature. Also look for raised garden beds with retaining walls. Retaining walls are meant to keep the natural soil and plants from eroding due to rain. You may also spot these walls in yards with patios backing up to a steep incline or large hillside. These retaining walls are used for structural purposes and help keep your outdoor living space safe during mudslides. You wouldn't want that mud funneling directly onto your custom patio, would you?
Think about what improvements you can make
Not everyone goes into the home buying process looking for a space that is in perfect condition and move-in ready. It's often more financially feasible for individuals and families to purchase a house that needs a little work or has the potential to be everything they want in a home. After some renovations and improvements, a recently purchased, not-quite-perfect house can become a buyer's dream home. For example, perhaps you find a house you love but it's on a hill, and the runoff from the rain makes it difficult to grow gardens or even have a lush green yard. You can install artificial turf and raised garden beds with retaining walls to address these issues and create a stylish yard that you love to spend time in as a family. You can install walkway pavers to link a patio to a fire pit area, and even add a stunning pergola to cover your patio so you can use it even in the rain or snow.
The Pacific Northwest is an incredible locale with stunning views, a booming employment rate and ample opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. With the right tips, you can find a home that's as ready to take on the weather as you are!