A home inspection is a crucial part of the home-buying process. Not only do they help the buyer avoid any costly surprises, but they can also give you an idea of the home’s condition.
You should always hire a qualified home inspector to complete your home inspection. Experienced home inspectors search homes for safety issues, as well as defects and needed repairs. An in-depth home inspection will typically include a comprehensive report that explains any problems the house has.
If you’re starting the home buying process, here are some important things to consider during your home inspection.
With families relying on electrical gadgets more than ever, it’s crucial that your home’s electrical is safe and can meet your needs. Common issues that come up during a home inspection include overloaded electrical panels or outdated electrical panels. For instance, Federal Pacific panels were popular from the 1950’s to the 1980’s. However, experts now consider them unsafe due to overheating and potential fire hazards.
In addition, homes with aluminum wiring can be problematic also. Used mainly between 1965 and the mid-1970s, experts agree that aluminum wiring presents a dangerous fire hazard due to overheating at connections. Rewiring a home can be costly; however, some insurance companies will not offer coverage to properties with aluminum wiring or Federal Pacific Electrical panels.
Although every home experiences settling to some degree, defects in the foundation can cause significant problems down the line. An experienced home inspector should be able to tell you when an otherwise minor crack could signal major foundation trouble. Issues such as bulging foundation walls can signal structural weakness. As foundation and structural defects can be particularly expensive to repair, you must hire a home inspector who can help you identify issues.
Septic Tank Defects
When purchasing a new home, septic tanks can add an additional issue to consider. Septic tank failures are not only smelly and unhygienic, but they can also cost thousands of dollars to repair. Common issues caused by septic tank defects include slow, gurgling drains, foul odors, and standing water. Your home inspector will inform you if they notice anything problematic with your septic tank. If a problem is suspected, they’ll likely recommend you to seek the advice of a professional.
Water stains can signal leaks and previous water intrusion. Your inspector should investigate any suspicious stains in case of an active leak or the presence of mold. Spots on the ceiling often indicate issues with a leaky roof. In comparison, stains on the floor and on basement walls can signal drainage issues. The most important thing to remember is that regardless of where it’s located, water intrusion can be a costly issue to fix.
Mold is not only unpleasant to look at and smell, but it can also cause an untold amount of health issues. This is especially true if you have allergies or respiratory conditions such as asthma. Smaller areas of mold, for example, less than 10 square feet, can typically be cleaned without costing a small fortune. However, extensive growth in AC ducts, crawl spaces or walls, requires professional help. Depending on the scope of the damage, this could cost thousands of dollars.
The Importance of Having a Home Inspection
Besides the critical points we’ve just listed above, many other potential issues can plague a house. This is why a home inspection is so important to the real estate purchasing process. The cost of a home inspection varies, depending on your home’s size and where it’s located. However, an experienced home inspector could save you thousands of dollars, and a lot of time, in the longterm.