The Most Common Problems Found in a Home Inspection
Whether you are selling your home, or about to purchase a new home, there are some things you should know to prepare for a home inspection.
At the end of the day, if a home needs numerous repairs, it is neither in the seller’s nor the buyer’s best interest to proceed with the home-buying/selling. The seller will need to put too much work into the home before a loan will go through, and will probably be asked to take off an additional few thousand of his or her asking price. If he or she doesn’t, then it is the buyer’s responsibility to do all that work, if the loan still goes through.
But who has a lot of cash sitting around after putting in a down payment? Plus there’s the question of what else is coming down the line with the house?
Though a home inspection is quite extensive, it can be boiled down to RWR— rainwater, wiring, and roof.
Rainwater—Is it Being Diverted, or Is it Pooling Around the House?
Though you wouldn’t think it, rainwater is actually one of the biggest problems for a home, and it’s one of the first things looked for in a home inspection. If the home doesn’t have any gutters, heavy rains can cause problems all over the house, including with the foundation and the windows. Over time, windows tend to swell and create pockets for water to settle in, which can lead to mold. Foundation issues appear when there are drainage issues— either the house is built at the bottom of a slope, or again, the home lacks gutters. Flashing on chimneys also often needs to be repaired. If not, rainwater will get into the house and can cause swelling to occur in the flooring near fireplaces. If this is left untreated for an extended period of time, it can cost several thousand dollars to repair. The cost of a foundation repair? Let’s just say that if you are the buyer, consider looking elsewhere!
Wiring—How Old is the House, and How Many DIYers Have Gotten Ahold of It?
Modern homes have an ample supply of power outlets; however, older homes do not. To compensate, many people will have extension cords with power strips attached. Seems harmless enough, but such setups put an undue amount of stress on electrical systems, which can, and often do, lead to fires.
Another thing home inspectors look for is exposed wires in the attic, garage, or ceiling, linked to DIY light fixtures. Though lights may be simple enough to install, weekend warriors often cut corners with electrical tape or leave bare wire exposed just above a wire connector. Over time, these can be quite dangerous.
Roof Status—Is it Just a Few Years Away From Needing to be Replaced, or Will a Simple Pressure Wash Do?
How old is the roof? Shingles are advertised to last 30-35 years, but this, unfortunately, is rarely ever the case. Ask around and you will find that the norm tends to be 15-18 years. So, if you think a roof might need to be replaced, chances are it does, or at least will in the very near future. Roofs, therefore, are a top priority for any home inspection.
If you see what look like waves of discoloration on the roof (where some parts look darker than others), it might just be mold. If that’s the case, a simple pressure wash can make your roof look years younger. That said, it’s recommended you hire a professional if you’ve never used a pressure washer before, as it is easy to do more harm than good to an older shingle.
Keep these three things in mind when it’s time for your home inspection, and you’ll understand whether or not a home is worth pursuing.