Conducting a proper home inspection is essential if you’re planning to buy a property. When done right, it can save you time, money and a lot of headaches.
To avoid nasty surprises, here are the most common costly home inspection pitfalls you need to know- including ways to address them.
7 Steps to a Proper Home Inspection
Faulty plumbing doesn’t always have to involve busted pipes. Clogged and leaking pipes count, too.
Leaking pipes are easy to detect by just visual inspection. However, when it comes to clogged pipes, you need to do more than just ocular assessment. You need to gauge the water pressure from all the faucets at home. Flushing the toilet can also help as well.
Once you turn on the water fixtures, it’s a good idea to check the water that comes out of them. If the water is dirty and has little particles in it, there’s a good chance that the pipes are already rusting. Replacing pipes, in this case, won’t only be costly but time-consuming, too.
Small leaks aren’t easy to recognize until something major happens. Once water gets into your exterior wall and molds starts to form, you should be prepared to do a major renovation that can include both your home interior and exterior.
Aside from leaks, you should also keep an eye out for any discoloration or spotting in the ceiling. This is usually an indication of moisture penetration. If a stain is damp, it can mean that the leaks are recurring and that immediate repair should be done to prevent extensive damage. However, for stains that are dry, you may have to do more work to find out their exact cause.
A leaky roof can happen either from physical deterioration of the roofing materials or from mechanical damage caused by a windstorm or ice buildup.
A typical home should have at least 100 amps service. The wiring should be made out of copper or aluminum and they need to be clearly marked to avoid confusion. If you’ll be buying property that has been built before 1950, make sure to double check its wires since old homes typically have knob-and-tube wiring. These wires are considered less safe and need to be replaced.
For safety, there should be proper electric boxes and breakers in the service panel of the home. The panel should be inspected for any smoky residue, its age as well as signs of wear and tear. If it is already rusty or comes with outdated fuse, you also need to find a replacement for it.
There shouldn’t be any spliced wires and ungrounded fixtures left in the open, too. Any of these issues should be addressed right away as they are considered as potential fire hazards.
There are tons of factors that can cause damp attic spaces, such as poor insulation and ventilation. It can also be caused by frost that forms from air leaks.
Over time, these factors can make the area favorable for molds and mildew to form. This results in the weakening of the roof and building materials. Before you know it, you’re already faced with an extensive and expensive repair. Fixing damp attic spaces can cost you a minimum of $2,500, depending on how severe the associated damage is.
Rotting wood can easily go unnoticed, unless you specifically look for it. And if you are not quick in recognizing it, it can spread quite far and wide. This makes it especially dangerous and costly.
Rotting frequently happens in wooden window frames, exterior doors and decks. It can also happen in interior spaces, such as the floor around dishwashers, toilets and sinks. If you are going to inspect a home, make sure that you don’t rely on looks alone. Because wood can be painted, it’s a good idea to really probe the material to see its true state.
Lack of basic security features
Although it’s relatively easy to get a security system to protect your home, it’s essential that it also has basic security features. Having proper and functional locks in its doors and windows , for example, can help protect the property while you’re still deciding on what you should do with it.
Carbon monoxide and fire detectors are also a great addition to the home. Keep in mind, however, that these devices can add up to the home’s selling value.
Poor ventilation can greatly affect the interior walls of the home as well as certain structural components. If it can be remedied by replacing drywall and adding ventilation fans, then you don’t have to worry about spending a good amount of money on it.
However, if the cause of the faulty ventilation requires replacement of a structural component, be prepared for its expensive cost.
How To Avoid Home Inspection Problems
One of the first things you can do before buying a home is to ask for a full disclosure on the property. Since there are actually state laws that require sellers to provide an extensive written report to their potential buyers, you won’t have a hard time securing one. The report should enlist the property’s material defects, structural issues and other problems that can cause you inconvenience.
Unfortunately, however, some sellers aren’t really that reliable. Since they are trying to sell a property, you can’t expect them to fully disclose every negative detail of the house. If they do, they’ll have a hard time closing deals or even finding potential clients.
For your peace of mind and security, your best option is to hire licensed and experienced home inspectors.
Because it’s relatively easy for an untrained set of eyes to miss important details during an inspection, it’s a better idea if you can ask for professional help. Home inspectors, such as Eyeon, can perform a thorough assessment of your target property and provide a comprehensive report so that you can avoid falling victim to these home inspection pitfalls.
Purchasing a home is a huge decision that involves a lot of money and time on your end. Avoid years of buyer’s regret by doing thorough home inspections.