The Most Common Issues Found During a Home Buyer's Inspection
Many issues that commonly arise in home inspections can be found in newer and older homes alike. The key is to have the home inspected by a professional home inspector that understands how to communicate these issues and how they can be addressed so a potential home buyer, along with their real estate professional, can make his or her decision confidently.
Drain-related issues can be extremely costly for home buyers. Inspectors can identify this issue for would-be owners before they sign the dotted line and incur potentially extensive damage. Overlooking or ignoring drainage issues, whether they be existing or potential, can mean big bucks down the line, often resulting in foundation issues, warped floor boards, electrical problems, mold, rot, mildew and unwanted insects or rodents.
If electrical wiring has not been properly installed and grounded, a home can be vulnerable and those who live there may risk shock. Older homes often need electrical upgrades, including new wiring and circuit breaker panels to replace old fashion fuse boxes. Some may have had ‘partial upgrades’ over the years and can be misleading to those who don’t know what they’re looking for.
Inspectors look for faulty pipes and fixtures. They also look at whether plumbing parts are made of compatible materials. Leak-prone polybutylene (pb) plumbing pipes popular in the 1970s through the 1990s will have to be replaced, even if the home seems relatively updated.
There are many causes for a leaking roof, whether it be a gutter backup, missing shingles, cracks in sealed roof vents, poor flashing or just age. And sometimes, past . Sometimes, home owner repairs lead to larger problems. Since water can travel outward from the source, it can often be hard to pinpoint a leak’s cause. Your inspector is trained to identify these issues and give you guidance on how they can be repaired or prevented.
Many homeowners think they can fix things themselves without any formal training, and often end up not fixing the problem correctly or even causing more damage. Homeowners may live years unaware of issues in their home or learn to live in circumstances that inspectors and new buyers would not consider safe.
If moisture has accumulated in a home, it’s usually most obvious in the bathrooms. Simply installing exhaust fans and keeping windows open more frequently may be a remedy. Improper attic and crawl space ventilation can be a result of minor temporary blockage or a larger design flaw.
A leaking roof or settling foundation may mean doorways, walls and support beams are not square or do not close properly. Structural damage causes safety issues that need to be repaired, and not all issues are readily apparent because they lack visible symptoms.
Older homes may contain lead-based paints and asbestos materials. Depending on structure and climate, unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide, radon gas or toxic mold may exist. Additionally, homes with oil heat typically stored in underground tanks need to be checked for leakage.
All of these issues are repairable and may not be a reason to stop the sale of a home. When in doubt, ask your inspector!