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Home Inspection: What You Need to Know

When you buy a home, it’s important to know what you’re getting into. A home inspection can give you peace of mind and reveal any potential problems with the property before they become an expensive headache. In this blog post, we’ll go over some of the most common things that might show up on a home inspection report and how those findings could affect your decision to purchase the home.

Findings That Might Cause You To Not Buy The Property

Some findings such as a major roof leak or deficient heating system can make it difficult for you to move forward on your purchase. But some other problems, like old paint on ceilings and outdated flooring may be easily fixed before moving in and won’t change your mind about closing the sale. Here are some common findings from an inspection and how they could affect you:

Bathroom(s) does not have exhaust fans installed

Without proper ventilation, moisture will build up in rooms with showers and bathtubs, causing damage to the walls and flooring of the bathroom over time. Mold can also grow behind tile or paneling if no ventilation is present. Dampness can also contribute to the growth of toxic mold.

Ceilings have peeling paint

Old, outdated paint could contain lead, which can be hazardous to your health if you inhale or swallow it. Lead-based paint is typically found on ceilings, so this finding could indicate that the seller has not disclosed known lead hazards in the house. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends getting an inspection before buying a home built before 1978 because it could contain lead-based paint.

Doors are sticking or need weatherstripping

Sticky doors mean wasted energy and money since your heating and cooling systems will be overworking to compensate for your leaky doors. You’ll probably have to replace worn weatherstripping if there’s no draft-proofing seal.

Electrical panels are old

Replacing your home’s electrical panel could cost you upwards of $3,500. The best way to avoid the expense is to purchase an older home that doesn’t need it or ask the seller for other assurances that they’ve taken care of the problem.

Foundation has cracked exterior walls

Cracks in your foundation can be repaired, but if there are multiple cracks running through areas like your kitchen and bathroom cabinets, you may want to look at another property since this might affect structural integrity.

Heating system is inadequate/inefficient

Old furnaces (older than 10 years) should not be trusted to heat all rooms adequately in the colder months. If you can’t get an adequate heating system on your own, you might need to reconsider the purchase of the property since it will cost more to fix than what you pay for it.

Hot water heater is older than 10 years

This could indicate that your roof leaks and causes damage to areas below it. You’ll need to replace or repair leaks and renew its insulation before you move in, which could really add up if there’s a lot of air infiltration due to inadequate protection.

Plumbing needs updating

Broken toilets and damaged piping could be signs that the seller let problems go unfixed because they were too expensive or inconvenient for them or they didn’t know how to do repairs themselves. Ask the seller if they’ll complete any necessary repairs before closing the sale

Sidewalk/steps/walkway is broken

If anyone in your family has trouble with mobility, you may need to consider having this repaired or replaced. Not only that, but a defect like this could affect the overall value of the property and prevent it from selling quickly.

Termites

A home inspection can’t tell you whether there’s termite damage, even if you’re looking for it. So be sure to ask your inspector what they’ve found and how much access termites might have had to either the interior or exterior of the structure. Most importantly, make sure you know when was the last time an active infestation was addressed by a termite company.

Unfinished attic

An unfinished attic could indicate that the seller never intended to finish it and keep the home, but if you decide to make it livable, you’ll have to figure out what needs to be done (e.g., insulation may need to be added) and how much it will cost before buying. Windowpanes are cracked: Cracks in windowpanes can lead to heat loss and provide access points for pests like spiders and ants; they must be thoroughly repaired or replaced depending on the extent of damage.

Windows are drafty

If your windows don’t seal tightly, cold air leaks into your home all winter long — adding as much as 10 percent onto your heating bill. Old single-pane windows are the least efficient for keeping out drafts, so if you have them, look at purchasing double or triple pane models when replacing your old windowpanes.

 

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