Things you need to know about the condition of the home you are purchasing.
While homebuyers are as individual as the homes they plan on purchasing, one thing they do have in common is the need to do their due dilligence and make sure that the home they will call their own is as good beneath the surface as it appears to be on the outside.
Will the roof end up leaking? Is the wiring safe? What about the plumbing? How old are the windows? What are the avrage utility costs? These are just a few of the questions that your REALTOR® will inquire about but should also be check by a professional.
According to industry experts, there are at least 33 physical problems that will come under scrutiny during a home inspection.
The most coomon have been idetified below. Some may be minor or repairs due to regular maintaence or aging while others could cost you more than you are bargaining for.
I have alaway said, no home will be perfect. Not even a new built home but as long as you are aware of the problem, budget for the repairs and write your offer accordinily, you are in your best position to make the most informed decisions.
In most cases, you can make a reasonable pre-inspection yourself if you know what you’re looking for. Knowing what you’re looking for can help you prevent little problems from growing into costly and unmanageable ones.
Defective plumbing can manifest itself in two different ways:
Leaking, and clogging. A visual inspection can detect leaking, and an inspector will gauge water pressure by turning on all faucets in the highest bathroom and then flushing the toilet. If you hear the sound of running water, it indicates that the pipes are undersized. If the water appears dirty when first turned on at the faucet, this is a good indication that the pipes are rusting, which can result in severe water quality problems.
Damp or Wet Basement.
Check your walls for a powdery white mineral deposit a few inches off the floor, and will look to see if you feel secure enough to store things right on your basement floor.
It could cost you $200-$1,000 to seal a crack in or around your basement foundation depending on severity and location. Adding a sump pump and pit could run you around $750 - $1,000 You will have to weigh these figures into the calculation of what price you are willing to pay for the home.
Inadequate Wiring & Electrical.
Your home should have a minimum of 100 amps service. Home inspectors will look at octopus plugs as indicative of inadequate circuits and a potential fire hazard. Knob and tube wiring is difficult to insure will requre you to update immediately to have covrage.
Poor Heating & Cooling Systems.
Insufficient insulation, and an inadequate or a poorly functioning heating system, are the most common causes of poor heating. While an adequately clean furnace, without rust on the heat exchanger, usually has life left in it. A heat exchanger will come under particular scrutiny since one that is cracked can emit deadly carbon monoxide into the home. These heat exchangers must be replaced if damaged - they cannot be repaired.
Water leakage through the roof can occur for a variety of reasons such as physical deterioration of the asphalt shingles (e.g. curling or splitting), or mechanical damage from a wind storm. When gutters leak and downspouts allow water to run down and through the exterior walls, this external problem becomes a major internal one.
Damp Attic Spaces.
Aside from basement dampness, problems with ventilation, insulation and vapor barriers can cause water, moisture, mold and mildew to form in the attic. This can lead to premature wear of the roof, structure and building materials.
This can occur in many places (door or window frames, trim, siding, decks and fences).
Rebricking can be costly, but, left unattended, these repairs can cause problems with water and moisture penetration into the home which in turn could lead to a chimney being clogged by fallen bricks or even a chimney which falls onto the roof. It can be costly to rebuild a chimney or to have it repointed.
An inspector will certainly investigate the underlying footing and foundation of your home as structural integrity is fundamental to your home.
To sum up, when you are looking to purchase a home, there will most likely be a number of things that will require fixing. You don’t want any unpleasant surprises that you did not anticipate so knowing what extras costs are associated with purchasing a home in a certain condition will make the process of purchaseing your next one, a knowledgable one.