Any home that isn’t brand new will come with a history, and that can create some stress for buyers. We’ve all heard horror stories about properties with major defects that weren’t discovered until after closing. The good news is, there are steps you can take to protect yourself. One of the most common is having a thorough home inspection performed by a qualified professional—but what should you look out for once you receive your results?
When you’re purchasing your next home, here are a few of the major things to keep an eye out for in your report…
1) Foundation cracks
A home’s foundation is crucial to its structural integrity. For this reason, your inspector will look closely at it during their assessment. If there are any cracks noted in the report they create, you should know that some may be more serious than others. While vertical cracks are common, horizontal ones are more likely to be indicative of potential future problems. When in doubt, follow up on your results. In some cases, your inspector may advise bringing in a specialist who can paint a clearer picture.
2) Faulty wiring
When you’re purchasing a home, you’ll want to ensure that the electrical wiring is up to snuff. If it’s faulty, you could be looking at a potential safety hazard. One thing to be on the lookout for in your inspection report is knob-and-tube wiring. This outdated method doesn’t always pose a danger, but issues can arise if a previous owner tried to repair it on their own. Homeowners may also find that knob-and-tube wiring is more difficult to insure. Think carefully before purchasing a home that’s been wired this way, and make sure you know your insurance options.
3) Grading issues
Grading refers to the slope of a piece of land. It can have a significant impact on a home’s drainage, as well as its foundation. Unfortunately, improper grading can make a property more prone to flooding, which can mean more than the inconvenience of a wet basement. In some circumstances, foundation leakage and even mold may arise. Our advice? Read the section of your home inspection report that deals with grading carefully, and talk to your inspector if you have any questions.
4) Roof damage
Your roof protects you from the elements, which is why a severely damaged one is a major red flag. This crucial component can cost thousands of dollars to replace. That’s why you should pay special attention to any notes in your inspection report that deal with the age and condition of a home’s roof. If any major issues are found, you may choose to pass on buying the property, make repairing it a condition of your purchase, or negotiate with the sellers for a lower price.
5) HVAC problems
An HVAC can be very costly to repair or replace. If you’re heating and cooling system has been poorly-maintained, it could also have a major negative impact on your energy bills. Your inspection report will help you understand the functionality of a home’s HVAC system, and you should carefully consider this information before making a purchase decision. If any significant problems are discovered during the inspection process, you may choose to use it during negotiations.
A home inspection report can be a useful tool when you’re thinking about purchasing a piece of property. The more data you have, the more informed your purchase will be. Fortunately, an experienced real estate agent can help you find a qualified inspector, and even add an inspection contingency to your offer to protect you if any major defects are found.
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