A home inspection can be a very stressful experience for both home buyers and home sellers. Indeed, sometimes a thorough inspection can reveal a multitude of problems with a home, thereby decreasing the price of an offer or completely negating a sale. Although the problems revealed during a home inspection can almost always be fixed, it is far more desirable to foresee and remedy any problems with a property prior to a home inspection. Ideally, any concerns should be dealt with prior to even listing a property on the market.
Although passing a formal home inspection is important, the problems addressed during a home inspection can sometimes be noticed by potential buyers during a viewing. Thus, it is very important that a home is in the best possible condition from the beginning of the selling process, to make a good impression with prospective buyers and pass a home inspection.
There are nearly three dozen areas of a home deemed especially noteworthy during a home inspection. The report found below titled, “11 Important Issues to Address in Order to Pass a Home Inspection” outlines one third of the most important of these numerous concerns.
Potential Buyers Want to Know Everything About Your Property
A potential homebuyer will likely scrutinize the interior and exterior of your home. Understandably, homebuyers want to know everything they can about the condition of the property. Key questions they might seek to answer include: How safe is the wiring? How much longer will the roof last? Is the plumbing sufficient?
To answer these, and many other equally important questions, homebuyers will typically enlist the service of a professional home inspector.
Industry experts report that there are at least 33 issues that will be scrutinized during a home inspection. 11 of the most important are addressed in this report. If avoided, these concerns could become costly repairs.
Typically, you can inspect your home briefly yourself before contacting a professional. Provided you know what you are looking for, conducting a pre-inspection yourself could save small problems from mushrooming into expensive concerns.
11 Home Inspection “Red Flags”
- Poor Plumbing
Plumbing can fail in two inconvenient ways: clogging or leaking. By inspecting your plumbing you can likely determine if leaking is a problem. An inspector will determine the water pressure by turning the taps on in all rooms with plumbing and then flushing the toilet.
- Basement that is Wet/Damp
A professional inspector will look for a powdery white mineral deposit on your walls, a few inches above the floor. Additionally, an inspector will notice if you store goods directly on your basement floor. If you are evidently uncomfortable doing so, your basement might be inspected even more thoroughly. If the odour of mildew is present in your basement, the inspector will likely notice the smell immediately.
Concerning cracks in or around the foundation of your basement, repairs could cost between $200-$1000, depending, of course, on both the severity and location of the crack. A complete waterproofing could cost you between $5000-$15,000 while adding a sump pump and pit will likely cost between $750-$1000. Keep these figures in mind when determining what net price you wish to receive for the sale of your home.
- Defective Wiring/Electrical
As a minimum, your home should have 100 amp service which should be marked clearly. Check to see if your wiring is made from copper of aluminum, both suitable materials. An octoplug signals inadequate circuits, as well as a potential fire hazard, to a home inspector.
- Ineffective Heating/Cooling Systems
Poor heating is typically caused by ineffective insulation or a poorly functioning heating system. Although your furnace may be clean and rust-free, an inspector will likely enquire as to the age of your furnace, particularly if it has exceeded its usual lifespan of 15-25 years.
- Faulty Roof
A number of different factors, such as the deterioration of asphalt shingles and mechanical damage such as that from an ice storm, can cause water leakage. If your gutters leak and water flows down and through exterior walls, a problem of leakage could affect both the interior and exterior of your home.
- Damp Attics
Your basement is not the only part of your house that can be affected by dampness. Indeed, poor ventilation and problems with insulation and vapour barriers can cause your attic to become afflicted by moisture, mould, and mildew. This type of water damage can shorten the lifespan of the structure and materials of your roof. To fix this damage might cost $2,500 or more.
- Rotting Wood
Wood rot can affect many areas of your home. Areas to inspect include door and window frames, decks and fences, and siding and trim. A building inspector will often probe these areas of your home to determine if your wood has begun to rot. A home inspector will be more likely to probe these areas if the wood has been painted recently.
Redoing the brick on a home can be very expensive, but ignoring defects in the brickwork can lead to even more expensive repairs. If brick work problems are left unattended, water and moisture can easily penetrate your home. If this happens, your chimney could become clogged with bricks, or, even worse, fall onto your roof. It is very expensive to rebuild or re-point a chimney.
- Faulty Electrical Circuit
If your electrical circuit is overused or generally unsafe, you may face a fire hazard. When more amperage is drawn on the circuit than the circuit was designed to withstand, it poses a fire hazard. Typically, homes have 15 amp circuits, with additional services for appliances like stoves and dryers, which require more. To replace your fuse panel with a circuit panel could cost hundreds of dollars.
- Security Features
In addition to considering an actual security system, an inspector will also consider basic safety concerns such as functioning locks on doors and windows as well as deadbolts. Additionally, an inspector will look for smoke and carbon monoxide monitors, which should be found in every bedroom and on each level of your home. Pricing for such security features will vary, but ultimately will add to the cost of your home. Consult with local experts before adding any security features to ensure they are a good choice.
- Foundational/Structural Problems
An inspector will definitely consider the foundation of your home, as well as its structural integrity. Both of these aspects are integral to the results of your home inspection.
By considering how your home meets these 11 areas, you can better prepare yourself for the results of your home inspection. Importantly, you do not want to be surprised by any unpleasant discoveries that will adversely affect the sale of your home.
If you have any questions about the home inspection process, please feel free to contact me. We’ll be happy to caht further about this area of real estate. We’re not the experts,… but we’ve been to a lot of home inspections.