It’s a smart idea to hire a home inspector to check out a home before you buy it. And it can save you lots of money down the road.
Even if the house you hope to buy appears perfect, there may be some hidden problems you can’t see.
Most real estate contracts contain a home inspection contingency. That means the buyer can back out after the home inspection if they aren’t satisfied with the results.
The buyer can also request the seller make needed repairs before finalizing the deal. Whether you are the buyer or the seller, it’s good to know what an inspector will look for.
Here are the most common issues home inspectors look for during an inspection.
A roof protects the home and everything in it. Buyers expect a solid roof, and roof damage can affect the value of the home.
A quality roof can last up to 25 years, but you should have a roof inspection once a year to check for damage. This is important if you live in areas that experience extreme weather such as snow storms or hurricanes.
A deteriorating roof leads to other problems with the home such as water leaks in the ceiling or pest infestations. A buyer should consider the quality of the roof when negotiating the price of a home.
If you plan to sell, it’s not always the best idea to replace the roof. It sometimes makes more sense to lower the asking price rather than pay $15,000 or more for a new roof.
Signs that a roof needs repair include:
- Missing shingles
- Loose shingles
- Curled or buckled shingles
- Soft spots on the roof
- Algae growth on the roof
- Cracks or rust on the flashing
- Water or moisture on the ceiling or in the attic
A solid foundation is important, but over time, water can damage the foundation. If the foundation cracks, water will enter the structure.
Foundation repairs are expensive. If you are buying a new home, a foundation problem something you don’t want to ignore.
A home inspector will look for a solid foundation, straight walls, and doors and windows that open and shut correctly. Water in the basement is often a sign of foundation damage.
A foundation problem can lower the home’s value, and the homeowner should address the problem right away to prevent further issues.
An inspector will evaluate your home for water damage. This type of damage is a red flag for home buyers. The inspector will check the pipes, drains, water heater, air conditioner, and more.
Hidden or overlooked water damage can lead to mold. This is a health concern and can lead to upper respiratory problems.
Severe mold problems can cost thousands of dollars to repair. That’s why it’s important to take care of small leaks or plumbing issues before you have a major problem on your hands.
If there is minor water damage, the buyer and seller may be able to negotiate the costs of repair into the deal. For severe water damage, the homeowner should call a professional service provider who handles water damage and cleanup to address the problem.
Electrical System Problems
Electrical problems cause thousands of home fires each year. For this reason, inspecting a home’s electrical issues is an important part of a home inspection.
The inspector will take a look at the visible wiring, electric panels, outlets, and light switches. If your home inspector discovers any problems with your electrical system, you can ask your real estate agent to recommend a good electrician.
Although it may be tempting to do it yourself, you shouldn’t. Unless you are an expert, you should hire an electrician for the job.
Some common electrical issues include:
- Exposed wiring
- Spliced wiring
- Improper modification of electrical panels
- Painted outlets
- Reversed polarity
- Aluminum wiring
- Knob and tube wiring
Pest and Insect Infestations
Termites, carpenter ants, and some types of beetles can severely damage a home. Termites damage over 600,000 homes each year in the U.S., and homeowners spend millions trying to control the infestations and repair termite damage.
Rodents are an even bigger problem for homeowners. If you see a rodent in your home, there could be many more you don’t see.
This is a serious health issue because rodents carry salmonella and parasites like ticks and fleas that spread disease. If a home inspector finds a pest or insect infestation before major damage occurs, an exterminator can handle the problem.
If major foundational or structural damage occurs due to an infestation, it will affect the home’s value and should be repaired or replaced.
Rusted pipes or minor leaks can indicate a more serious plumbing issue. If an inspector notices leaky pipes, overflowing, or clogging, they will suspect a more serious problem.
Redoing your plumbing system can be very expensive, so it’s important to know the underlying issue. Some plumbing issues include:
- Broken pipes
- Rusty pipes
- Running toilets
- Faulty water heater
- Hidden leaks
- Water pressure problems
- Broken thermostat
- Sediment build-up
Be sure to use a licensed plumber if you need one. Ask neighbors for recommendations and read online reviews.
Home Inspectors Will Check the HVAC System
Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is an important part of your home. These systems control the airflow, heating, and cooling of your that keeps you and your family comfortable.
If you are buying a home, pay close attention to the HVAC system. These systems tend to last around 15-25 years, but that’s not always the case.
Replacing an HVAC system is expensive, so you want to make sure it’s working as it should before you buy a home. A home inspector will check the components of the HVAC system to make sure it’s running properly.
Here are some problems home inspectors see with HVAC systems.
- Rust around HVAC unit
- Dirty air filters
- Cracked ductwork
- Open seams in flues
If you need a home inspector in North East Ohio, we can help. Contact us today.