Are you considering taking the leap into home ownership?
Buying a home is one of the largest and most significant investments that anyone will make in their lifetime. Because of this fact, it’s vital to take every precaution necessary and ensure that you are making the most informed decision possible.
While a home may appear presentable on the outside, it’s not always a guarantee that the inner structure matches the clean exterior. Fortunately, buyers can pay a small fee to gain valuable insight into the potential damages of the home. For some, this can end up saving the buyer thousands of dollars in the near future.
A home inspection report helps to bring light to any issues that might be present within the home. This is especially informative for issues that may not be visible to the naked eye.
If you’re in the process of househunting, you’re going to want to read this. We’re uncovering the eight most serious red flags to watch out for in your home inspection report.
1. Significant Mold, Mildew or Moisture
First and foremost, a home inspection report will determine if there is a significant presence of mildew or excessive moisture in a home.
While small amounts of organic debris exist in most interiors, the home inspection will determine if such a presence may be problematic or hazardous. Common areas for mold and mildew are typically found in the bathroom, basement and the lining of doors and windows.
If the report suggests that mold may be an issue, it’s in the homeowner’s best interest to arrange for an official mold test.
2. An Outdated Electrical System
If you’re buying a historic home, you’ll want to pay special attention to the type of electric system present within the home.
For example, many homes built pre-1960’s will feature outdated electrical systems such as knob and tube wiring. This type of wiring has proven to be dangerous and has been declared a significant fire hazard.
In some cases, this type of electrical system is not up to code and will need to be replaced in its entirety. Not only may this require knocking down a series of walls, but it’s also a significant cost for the buyers.
3. Poor Foundation
A good, solid foundation is essential to any structure. Without a solid foundation, the structure is likely to experience a structural weakness.
Foundation issues are typically the most significant and expensive issues to be discovered during a home inspection.
Of course, not every home is perfectly even and has experienced varying degrees of settling. However, if the home inspector determines that the foundation is significantly unstable, cracked or generally damaged, this is an issue that must be taken seriously.
4. Old or Damaged Roof
Did you know that the average asphalt single roof has a typical lifespan of only twenty years?
One of the most significant aspects of the home that the home inspection will focus on is the quality of the roof. If the roof were to need repairing or replaced, this is an extremely significant cost to the buyer.
A home inspection will also determine if the roof is up to code and current with the state laws.
5. Damaged Chimney
Another area of the roof that poses a serious threat to buyers is the chimney.
If the structural integrity of the chimney is damaged or not up to code, this is a serious violation and is very costly to correct. The home inspection will also test for any cracks or loosened joints that may become problematic in the future.
6. Water Damage
The presence of unnatural water is never a good sign when discovered within the home.
In simple terms, you shouldn’t anticipate seeing water anywhere that is doesn’t make sense. This may be in terms of water collecting in the basement or leaks in the walls or ceilings.
It’s important to note that water damage often signifies other, more serious issues. This could be anything from mold issues to issues with the foundation of the home. It may also that the plumbing system isn’t working correctly and needs to be entirely replaced.
7. The Presence of Asbestos
Asbestos is especially common in homes that were built prior to 1980.
While it was used in insulation and once declared safe, it’s now understood that exposure to asbestos is hazardous to human health. In fact, studies reveal that significant exposure to asbestos ends a life every five hours.
Without a home inspection report, asbestos is likely to remain undetected and is likely to have a negative effect on the residents of the home.
8. The Presence of Termites
In some areas, it may be natural to have pests such as mice scatter throughout the home.
While mice are typically not an issue, vermin such as termites present major issues to your home. Although they may be small, termites have the ability to damage a home and render it totally uninhabitable.
Once termites enter the home, it’s extremely difficult, expensive and time-consuming to entirely remove them. The homeowner will also have to replace the wood that was damaged by the termites and survey the areas to ensure they do not come back.
Preparing for Your Home Inspection Report
Let’s be honest, reading a home inspection report can be confusing and downright intimidating.
However, the right professional can guide you through the report and highlight the major issues. From here, they can explain the extent of the issues and provide estimates for correcting such an issue.
In understanding these issues exist, buyers can make informed decisions as to whether or not they’d like to continue with their purchase. It will also give buyers a perspective as to the remaining lifetime of different structures such as roof, electrical and plumbing.
While a home inspection may be an added cost, the benefits of having a home inspection are well worth the upfront cost. After all, this has the potential to save buyers thousands of dollars down the line.
If you live in Northeast Ohio and are looking to schedule a home inspection, don’t hesitate to contact us today!