What to Expect When Inspecting
Recently I spoke with a homeowner who was renting a home but was looking to purchase it from the current owner. She wanted me to take a look at things from a remodel stand point if the home deal moves forward. Once I arrived and discussed her situation, I recommended she contact a home inspector before making an offer. A home inspection can be a nerve-racking part of the home-buying process – but it is also a vital step. Here are a few things an inspector may find that could add to the cost of a home – or save you from buying a lemon altogether. These are the top 5 things that I caution people about when buying.
1. Lurking charges
Even though a home's electrical system may seem to function adequately, inspections can reveal safety issues. This frequently happens with old wiring that's corroded or outdated, or with new wiring that was improperly installed.
2. A failing grade
Poor grading, or a slope that drains water toward your house instead of away from it, can cause all kinds of problems such as flooded crawl spaces or basements, rotting walls and framing, and mold and foundation damage.
3. Trouble on top
Roofing materials don't last forever, and inspectors often find problems with aging materials that will soon cause problems. The scale of necessary repairs can range from needing to replace a few shingles to needing an entirely new roof.
Especially in humid regions, mold can sprout anywhere moisture collects, like attics, basements and drywall around leaky pipes. If the inspector finds mold, a separate mold inspection may be required.
5. Foundation flaws
As a home settles over the years, the foundation can shift. Symptoms include cracks in the drywall, uneven floors, and doors and windows that won't shut. While home inspectors can identify basic foundation issues, if they see something that seems structurally suspicious, they'll often recommend you call a foundation engineer to assess the situation.