The most important process of buying and selling houses is the home inspection. Always pay close attention to the advice your home inspector will provide you after their careful, professional examination of the home. It doesn’t matter if you are the seller or the buyer, you should consider the home inspectors recommendations against the home’s price or estimated value. Also, it doesn’t matter if it’s a brand-new home or an older home, because finding problems before you purchase, is obviously ideal compared to discovering a major financial problem once the purchase has been made. The following are ten of the most common problems that are found during a home inspection.
1. Electrical Wiring
Your inspector will test and assess the outlets throughout the home. They’ll asses the breaker box, including fuses. Other issues they might find are reversed polarity, double taps, and damaged wiring.
If your neutral and hot wires have been attached incorrectly, you will have a reverse polarity. Simply switching the wires to the correct position fixes this common issue.
A double tap is two feeds going into one breaker. Installing a twin breaker remedies this.
Damaged and faulty wiring is a major concern. This can lead to house fires and property damage, which includes neighboring homes. You will need to redo hazardous wiring or account for it in the asking price or bid.
2. Home Heating Problems
Did you know you should check and maintain your heating system annually? Most homeowners skip out on annual maintenance and the crucial inspection of their home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. Your home inspector will thoroughly check your heating system unit for signs of maintenance that generally include blower, blower belt if applicable, ductwork, and presence of soot. These issues can cause your heating system to fail, and the easiest remedy is to schedule a certified HVAC specialist to clean and inspect your system prior to selling your house. If you’re purchasing, consider hiring a service to perform yearly checks.
3. Plumbing Problems
Small leaks in the pluming of a home can occur without the homeowner being aware. Common areas are around toilets and sinks, but hidden water damage can be found elsewhere. Broken seals, incorrect materials, and corrosion can lead to leaks.
If your inspector discovers signs of active leaks, you should consult with a plumber. They can locate and fix issues quickly. If the damage caused by the leaky pluming had been occurring for a while, you will need to address that as well. Further inspection is necessary to ensure mold isn’t present and that structural damage has not occurred.
4. Exterior Problems
The home’s fascia is a common culprit for outside issues. This part of the roof allows for proper ventilation of the home. If it’s not properly installed, you could have a decrease in the lifespan of your roof.
The second important outside factor of your home is your gutters. Without a gutter system, your roof can leak since the primary role of them is to remove rainwater and drain it away from your home. Regularly clean and update your gutters to ensure they remain in working order.
5. Roof Integrity
Your home inspector won’t skim over a roof; they’ll study it for improper ventilation, curled or missing shingles, leaks, and missing or broken flashings. Roofing can be an expensive fix. If a homeowner lets problems go, their oversight can lead to thousands of dollars in damage to not only the roof but the home too.
An inspector will check each window to make sure they open and close correctly. Accidently painting a window shut in a common issue, but broken hardware or loose panes can show up on your report too.
They will also check for drafts when they’re shut as a good working window shouldn’t allow air to escape. You will find this more in older homes; window installation and window quality have changed vastly.
7. Structural Issues
Your home’s structural integrity is the single most important aspect. It supports the walls and provides a foundation. If that foundation has faults, it puts the rest of the house at risk. Sloping floors, sticking doors, and cracks in the foundation are all common issues.
Foundation problems are rarely a cheap or DIY fix. You should be prepared if you’re purchasing a home with any type of structural damage and receive estimates to repair the problems.
If mildew, mold, or other signs show up in your basement or crawlspace, you might have an outside drainage problem. Improper grading is most commonly the culprit here. Sometimes proper grading was never done. However, the process can occur naturally too, like soil erosion, and you’ll see it with older homes. As the soil builds up against your home, it allows water to pool at the foundation.
Grading your home isn’t cheap. It generally includes removing and trucking in large amounts of soil. Plus, if you have damage to the foundation, basement, or crawlspace, you’ll need to address that too. These are must know issues before purchasing or selling a home.
9. Water Heater
Changing housing requirements can lead to older homes having water heater issues that aren’t discovered until inspection. Heater vent size and no temperature pressure release valve (TPRV) are common problems with older models.
You are unlikely to encounter water heater problems in newer homes, but it’s not impossible. Listen to your inspector’s suggestions and, if applicable, the estimated life left in the water heater.
10. Poor Maintenance
A Home Inspector can tell whether the home owner performed regular maintenance on their house and yard regularly. Issues that send up red flags include worn carpets, wall stains from previous leaks, mold, or mildew, loose or missing caulking, peeled paint, cracked pavement or rutted driveway, and holes in the walls or flooring.
While one or two issues might seem like a minor problem, when accounting for them as a whole, it paints a different picture of the house. Do your best to take care of issues as they arise, and remember that minor issues can quickly become BIG ones.
Utilizing a home inspection is the best method to ensure both parties know the home om the market is healthy without any hidden issues. Sellers can quickly address problems or adjust their price to reflect the health of the home. Buyers generally want to invest in a house that is structurally sound and without large surprises that could burden them financially at a later date. A home inspection offers both parties a win-win solution and peace of mind.