One of the most important steps of buying and selling a house is the home or property inspection. No matter if you are a seller or a buyer, consider the home inspector’s recommendations when looking at the home’s price or estimated value. If you are a seller, a good property inspection will help alert you about problems to correct before listing your house so you get top dollar. If you are a buyer, the property inspection will help ensure that you aren’t overpaying and can give you negotiating power. No matter the age of the home, finding problems before a purchase is finalized can save the buyer money.
The following are ten of the most common problems that are found during a home inspection.
1. Poor Electrical Wiring
Your property inspector will test and assess the outlets throughout the home as well as the breaker box, including fuses. Other issues they may find are reversed polarity, double taps, and damaged wiring.
Reverse polarity occurs when neutral and hot wires are attached incorrectly. By simply switching the wires to the correct position, you can fix this common issue.
A double tap happens when two feeds go into one breaker. You can install a twin breaker to remedy this problem.
Damaged and faulty wiring is a major concern that can lead to a house fire that can spread to neighboring homes. If possible, fix hazardous wiring so it’s up to code or disclose it contract. You can get bids for fixing the problem so you know how much you may have to discount the asking price of your property.
2. Home Heating Problems
Do you perform annual maintenance on your heating system? Many homeowners skip this task which includes heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems inspections.
Your property inspector will thoroughly check your heating system unit for signs of maintenance that generally include the blower, blower belt (if applicable), ductwork, and checks for the presence of soot.
Problems with any of these parts can cause heating system failure. The easiest remedy for avoiding problems is hiring a certified HVAC specialist to clean and inspect your system annually. If you are ready to sell (or buy), your property inspector will perform a thorough inspection of the house’s heating and cooling systems.
3. Plumbing Problems
Small leaks in a home’s pluming can occur without the homeowner being aware. The most common areas where problems occur are around toilets and sinks, but hidden water damage can be found elsewhere. Broken seals, incorrect materials, and corrosion can all lead to leaks.
If your property inspector discovers signs of active leaks, 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 may need to check for mold and structural damage.
4. Exterior Problems
The home’s fascia is another common area where problems can occur. The fascia is part of the roof that allows for proper ventilation of the home. If it’s not installed correctly, your roof could have a shorter life.
Gutters are a common culprit of leaks, especially if you do not keep them clean. Gutters help direct rainwater away from your home. If you have old or full gutters, water can deposit around the foundation, leading to leaks inside the home as well as exterior damage. Your property inspector will check the gutters to make sure they are not sagging, detached, and have clogs.
5. Roof Integrity
Your property inspector will take a close look at the roof. They’ll study it for improper ventilation, curled or missing shingles, leaks, and missing or broken flashings.
Roofing is a high-ticket replacement item on any house, no matter the size. If your inspection returns a report showing roofing problems, you can fix it prior to selling or disclose problems to the buyer.
A property inspector will check every window to make sure they open and close correctly. They will also check for drafts when the windows are shut.
If you are buying or selling an older home, be aware that window installation and quality have dramatically changed. Also, to avoid problems and negative marks on your report, be sure not to paint your windows shut and make sure that broken hardware and loose panes are fixed. These problems will be noted on your report.
7. Structural Issues
Your home’s structural integrity is the single most important aspect of your property inspection. Your property inspection will note if the home’s foundation has faults, which can place the rest of the house at risk. Besides cracks in the foundation, other common problems are sloping floors and sticking doors.
Unfortunately, foundation problems are rarely a cheap to fix and will most likely require a professional. If you are buying a home with structural issues, request repair estimates so you know costs before making a purchase.
Mildew and mold are the results of poor drainage and can show up in basements or crawlspaces. Typically, improper grading causes these problems. In some cases, the home was built without the right grading while in others natural soil erosion caused the issue. When soil is not positioned correctly around the foundation, it can cause pooling water which leads poor drainage and foundation cracks.
Your property inspection will reveal drainage problems. Typically, this problem can be fixed by re-grading your home by trucking in new soil and placing it with the proper slope around your home’s perimeter. After replacing soil, you can address any mold or mildew issues.
9. Water Heater
Your property inspection will look at the home’s water heater and will note the how much life the unit has left. Usually in newer homes, water heater issues don’t arise (although it’s not unheard of). In older homes, water heater problems typically come up because of changing housing requirements. For example, today’s updated heater vent size and a temperature pressure release valve (TPRV) requirement may be issues with older models.
10. Poor Maintenance
A property inspection will show if regular maintenance was performed on the house and yard. Poor maintenance issues can show in the form of worn carpets; wall stains from leaks, mold, or mildew; loose or missing caulking; peeled paint; cracked pavement or a rutted driveway; and holes in the walls or flooring.
While one or two issues may seem like a minor problem, having a number of problems on a report can paint a different picture.
The best advice is to take care of issues as they come up because minor issues can quickly become BIG ones and negatively impact your inspection report.
Rely on Vannier Home Inspections
Utilizing a home inspection is the best way to ensure both parties know the home on 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 surprises that could burden them financially. A home inspection offers both parties a win-win solution and peace of mind.
Vannier Home Inspections is your source for professional and reliable home inspections. Call us today to schedule your appointment.