Simple trick with rubber ball reveals troubling home problem

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It's no secret that the quest to find your dream home comes with many twists and turns. From making the initial decision to buy a fixer-upper to purchasing a newly-renovated home, there's no right way to choose the perfect place.

One expert, however, hopes his years of knowledge can help make the process a little bit easier.

Home improvement contractor Mike Holmes' new show 'Buy It Right,' takes an interesting approach to the home-buying process. In every episode, Holmes equips novice homebuyers with the necessary tools to select the perfect home based on their needs and wants.

From rubber balls to hard hats, 'Buy It Right' takes a peek inside the mind of Mike Holmes as he dishes on some of the best tips and tricks you should know before making one of the biggest decisions of your life.

If you haven't been able to catch an episode of the show, which premiered on Nov. 1, don't fret! The contractor extraordinaire sat down with the AOL Finance team and gave a few house-hunting gems everyone should know.

Check out seven need-to-know home buying tips from Mike Holmes in the slideshow below:

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Mike Holmes' 7 tips for homebuyers
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Mike Holmes' 7 tips for homebuyers

Take a walk around the house first

"I always take them around the outside of the house first, not through the [front door]. We normally end up going through the back door, the side door but never through the front door -- which is where real estate agents normally take them. You want to make sure that the outside of the home protects the inside. It’s not the inside you’re buying, it’s the house you’re buying."

Photo credit: Getty

Check housing permits before buying

"Real estate agents always claim that houses are newly renovated, new plumbing, new electrical, but there’s never any permits pulled to check -- and that is a big thing. If you didn’t pull your permits that could mean that someone has come in and done a quick facelift or slip."

Photo credit: Getty

Check the age of your home

"The age of the home can tell [you] many different things: whether it has galvanized plumbing, the possibility of asbestos (especially in the plaster), electrical plumbing and then a lot of repetitive things that no one sees. Anything before 1980 has the possibility of lead in the paint -- and that was the year we started to make changes within our building guidelines."

Photo credit: Getty

Different homes have different stories

"For example, if you’re going to buy in Colorado, no one ever has to claim whether or not there was a meth lab or there was a grow lab or somebody was shot in the house. Different areas have different stories and every single home has a different story."

Photo credit: Getty

Never jump at the first home you find

"Buying a home takes an awful lot of legwork, an awful lot of homework and the smartest investors always remember: “It’s the single most expensive investment of your life, so buying smart is buying it right.” Buying by illusion or by emotion can be the worst mistake."

Photo credit: Getty

Always have the right people with you when buying a home

"If you don’t know what you’re looking for in a home other than the paint on the wall, new cabinets, electric and possibly new plumbing, you may want to [contact] someone that you know is a professional in the field. A general contractor, sometimes hiring someone that’s got the best skill, will give you the best payoff because the advice you need is what you don’t know." 

Photo credit: Getty

Bring a rubber ball when going to view potential homes

"Whenever you’re going to look at homes, bring along a nice rubber ball. It’s amazing how a ball can roll in a downward direction. So, always make sure that the grading never runs to the home but away from the home." 

Photo credit: Getty

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Catch 'Holmes: Buy It Right' Tuesdays at 10pm and 10:30pm ET/PT on DIY Network

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