Everybody knows that buying a house is serious business. Whether you are considering a newly constructed estate or a modest fixer-upper, getting an inside look at your possible new home is essential. An experienced and qualified home inspector is always the best option when it comes to a thorough home evaluation, but having a good general understanding of what to look out for is a good idea.
Here are the top ten most commonly found issues during home inspections:
1. Faulty Wiring – Whether it’s the result of outdated systems or inadequate homeowner additions, issues with bad wiring are among the most commonly found defects, particularly within older homes. Any problems with the home’s electrical system are safety-related and should be addressed immediately.
2. Roof Problems – Roof problems as a result of improper installation or aging surfaces can occur frequently. It is also common to see improperly installed or absent flashing at transitional areas of the roof. In some cases, the roof can be repaired, and in other cases, the entire roof may need to be replaced depending on the location and severity of the damage.
3. Defective Heating/Cooling System – Inadequate maintenance practices, improper installation, and older systems and components are commonly found when inspecting the heating and/or cooling systems in a home.
4. Plumbing Problems – Some of the most commonly found issues during a home inspection are related to leaking, problematic, or older plumbing systems. In most cases, repairs or minor replacements can be made, but sometimes a total system replacement is necessary.
5. Poor Insulation and Ventilation – A poorly insulated ventilated space, especially in the attic or basement, can result in excessive utility costs and an overall lack of occupant comfort.
6. General Poor Maintenance – When general maintenance tasks are avoided or deferred, this can result in a potentially high-cost situation when it comes to bringing the house up to code and into good condition. If the current homeowner neglected to properly care for their home, the next owner will have to.
7. Poor Drainage Surrounding the Structure – It is essential that water drains away from the house around its perimeter in order to prevent water from leaking into the home and causing damage. In some cases, roof gutters and downspouts can be added to eliminate site drainage problems.
8. Cracks in Window Perimeters – Gaps or cracks in the structure or at the perimeter of windows can allow cold air and water to enter the home. When water gets into the wall cavities, mold can begin to grow inside and can cause widespread damage and serious health and safety concerns.
9. Structural Damage – Sometimes cut and/or broken trusses are seen in attic spaces and occasionally the inspector may see that entire structural components are missing. Typically repairs are needed to ensure the safety and structural integrity of the home.
10. Potential Environmental Problems – Indications of mold growth and/or water damage are among the most commonly seen issues during home inspections. Water damage or dampness, especially in the basement, can be a sign of larger issues with the foundation and insulation of the home and should be taken seriously. Potential homebuyers might want to consider a comprehensive environmental inspection and evaluation of the property before purchasing.
What Happens When a Home Fails an Inspection?
While learning that the house you’re interested in buying has one or more of the issues on this list can be disappointing, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t any options. After the home inspection, the interested buyers can request that repairs be made to the property in what is called a ‘repair request addendum.’ Within this document, the buyer can list any problem areas they wish to be repaired and addressed or be offered financial compensation for the repairs. Before submitting this document, it is a good idea to have a licensed contractor provide you with a quote of what the cost of the necessary repairs might be. While you are entitled to submit this document, the seller is not obligated to comply. If the seller refuses, the potential buyer is protected as they can walk away from the agreement and have their money returned, and simply continue their house search.
In some cases, the buyer may be so in love with the home that they are willing to spend their money on minor repairs. The best course of action depends on how severe and extensive the problems may be and what the cost of repairs could be.
Finding an experienced and reliable home inspector is one of the most important parts of the home-buying process. At Building Insights, we bring a wealth of knowledge, integrity, and expertise to each and every inspection we conduct. Contact us today to schedule your home inspection and get a free quote!