If you have ever been involved in a real estate transaction, you have probably experienced the process of getting a home inspection. Home inspections are done primarily to protect both buyer and seller. When purchasing a home, buyers clearly want to be confident that they are making a wise investment and a thorough home inspection can provide that peace of mind. For home sellers, a documented inspection verifies the condition of the home at the time of purchase, making it difficult for a buyer to come after the seller for future repairs.
Understanding the value of a home inspection is important, but knowing what to expect from an inspection is equally as important. No home is perfect – not even a newly constructed home – all homes have a certain amount of flaws so buyers and sellers should be prepared to see some recommended repairs on the report. The question then becomes which flaws are normal, and which defects are red flags for future problems?
Below are four areas that may warrant concern if noted on a home inspection report. If buyers see these, or similar issues described during an inspection, they may want to do further investigation before moving forward with the deal. If sellers see these issues notated, they should be prepared to take the necessary actions to rectify the situation.
Ideally, when a home is built the lot is graded to allow water to drain off the property. If the land isn’t properly graded and the water doesn’t drain as it should, you can end up with standing water near the foundation. This can cause a multitude of problems ranging from rotting wood frame to the shifting and/or cracking a home’s foundation over time. A good inspector will notice possible signs of foundation movement. If this is noted on a home inspection, understand that repairs will be costly.
Don’t forget that a home’s roof will age along with the rest of the dwelling. Depending upon the roofing material that was used when the roof was constructed, the effects of aging will vary. Pay close attention to see if a home inspection notes any signs of aging such as cupping, curling, blistering, lifting, splitting, insect damage, cracking, rotting and missing granular/sections. These symptoms of an aging roof may be warning signs of future water intrusion unless a new roof is installed; and once again there is a hefty price tag to this sort of project.
Building codes are always being updated to improve safety – and for good reason, defective electrical wiring is one common cause of residential fires. Pay attention to the number of electrical outlets present in a home; too few outlets can lead to the overuse of extension cords which places too much stress on the electrical system. You should also be mindful of any exposed wires. Typically, this is most often seen after a homeowner has taken on a home improvement project in their basement, garage or attic. If any wires are exposed, a licensed professional should be called to remedy the problem.
When a home has high-quality plumbing, the entire system is virtually invisible; turn the faucet on and water comes out, it’s that simple. However, when faulty plumbing is present, the problems can be substantial. Because plumbing is hidden behind the walls, it can be difficult to spot a problem. However, the most commonly found issues are pipe leaks or outdated systems. Even the smallest of leaks can lead to big water damage over time. A second story bathroom with a tiny leak in the shower floor drain can lead to plenty of damage below. If the whole system is outdated, certain repairs can be made to replace portions of old building materials, but sometimes the entire system just needs to be replaced.
courtesy of Forbes.com