One of the many important steps when buying a home is having your new house inspected. After you have found a home you love but before you seal the deal, it is a must to hire a professional inspection company to go into the home and check for any large issues which could incur repair and replacement costs initially. This will give you an idea of some repair costs to negotiate with the sellers of the home. The inspector will bring in a keen eye to find issues which you may not have seen on your walk-throughs of the home.
Some of the most common issues found by home inspectors are:
Water damage or potential water damage
Many things may contribute to your home’s water-stability and potential for damage. Erosion of external grading material is a common cause for slow leaking, making homes with basements especially prone to water damage. Water leaking into your home can cause damage to the foundation or allow health-troubling mold to grow.
No one likes weak water pressure or leaky faucets. Besides the hassle of bad water pressure, the efficiency of your pipes and water heater can greatly affect the cost of your utilities. It’s better to replace those things now than pay high water bills each month for wasted water!
Faulty or worn-out roofing materials
Roofing problems are very common but can occur on a wide scale of severity. Depending on how old the home is, the type of roofing material, and how well the roofing was originally installed, there may be issues with just a few pieces of the material or the entire roof. Variable temperatures can cause cracks in some roofing while others are more prone to rots or leaks.
Damaged or over-worked electrical capacity
This is another issue that should be solved not only for safety but also for efficiency. With an overcrowded wiring system, your power could be overworked and your space underutilized. Inspectors will check if previous owners made any changes or damages to the electrical wiring and insulation.
Foundation damage can occur from water damage, rotting, termites, or structural inadequacy. If the foundation of a home is sinking, it could mean big trouble and extreme costs to repair.
Ailing heating or air systems
Generally, issues with heating and cooling systems can be fixed with a simple overdue cleaning which can help save on energy bills. A less-common need for a replacement of these items will be a worthwhile consideration before closing on a home.
Poorly sealed windows and doors
There’s no point in maintaining water stability nor heating and air functioning in a home if the windows and doors leak! New windows don’t always mean efficient windows if they weren’t properly installed — let your home inspector test for that.
Of course, none of these problems are guaranteed to occur nor easy to spot. Depending on the age, location, and type of house, the potential for problems will vary. It's also important to note that all houses, even brand new ones, will have issues show up on the inspection. Certain issues may be a deal breaker, like a collapsing foundation, but many other issues can and should be repaired after negotiation with the seller. Your Realtor will guide you through this process.
If you need help finding the right home inspection company, Realtors usually have a good idea of reputable local inspectors—just ask yours for a suggestion. Don’t skimp on this cost—it’s better to spend a little extra now on the home inspection than to spend much more later on costs you can’t predict. In the long run, paying for the home inspection is always a sensible investment.
Have you ever bought or sold a home and undergone a home inspection? If you have anything to add to this topic or know of other common issues found in homes, please comment below.
Here are some additional resources that we know you'll find helpful:
How to Negotiate After a Home Inspection by Anita Clark
20 Things To Do Before Buying a House by Bill Gassett
Top Reasons to Have a Home Inspection When Buying a House by Kyle Hiscock