5 Things to Look for in a Home Inspection

Making the Inspection go easy

If you plan on selling your house you need to have it ready for a buyer.  Selling it as is, will mean a lower price in most cases, but there are still things you must do to get it ready for sale.  The same is true, although in reverse for those that are buying a house, especially for the first time.  Certain things you need to know about the house, that might not be said, or be purposefully left out.  The truth is, that not all things that are wrong with the house must be disclosed, only those that could become a major problem or health concern.  If you want the most for your place, be sure that it can pass the inspections on the first attempt.  For those looking to purchase you can do your own inspection before you buy.

For those looking to rent a place, the same rules apply, but for different reasons.  Before you sign the lease, you want to inspect the place and take note of anything that could potentially become a problem, letting the owner know you know about it before signing and that they must take care of it.  It helps you to get your deposit back if all problems are listed before you put any money down or sign the lease that you are caring for the property.

Listed below are the major things that you should look for before buying, selling or leasing a place.  There are obvious things you can check for as well such as cracks, and holes in the walls, problems with doors and cupboards, lights, ceiling and floor issues.  All of those are minor fixes that even a novice can handle, but should be noted anyway.

Leaking Pipes will set the wrong tone

Leaking Pipes will set the wrong tone

If you have a leaky pipe you will know about it.  That leak could be a faucet, a sink, the toilet, the bathtub or something inside the walls.  Those that are in the walls could go unnoticed for a while but there are some signs to look for.  Water marks or stains in the wall near where a sink or major plumping item is located, are the first signs.  Wet baseboards or moisture under the sinks within a cupboard.  In the shower, it could show with loose tiles, water stains and mold.  The obvious leaks are easy to spot and should be fixed as soon as they are spotted.  If there is an open house, check all the faucets for water pressure when they are running, and any leaks along the base after you use the facilities.  The higher the water pressure, the more likely there could be a piping issue either now or later.  You can tell if the water comes out fast, and hard or the toilet seems to flush hard.

If the house is relatively new it must pass more inspections than perhaps two decades ago.  This means the pipes will be in great working order since they must pass certain codes.  It’s the older houses that you need to be more concerned with as a buyer, seller, or leasee.

Mold comes in different Varieties

While mold is a sign of leaky pipes, it’s not the only bad sign it can indicate.  There could be a crack in the foundation where moisture is seeping into the house.  There could be a window or a door that is not properly sealed.  There could not be enough ventilation in the bathrooms, basement, or storage areas.  There could also be a leak in the roof that is causing wood rot and mold to grow and fester.  You will be able to tell where the mold is growing, indicates where the leak or moisture could be coming from.

Mold comes in different Varieties

Mold is different in different places and the most common is a green mold, which is usually found in bathrooms with little ventilation.  The more dangerous types are brown and black molds, which spores can lead to health problems, such as breathing ailments.  Black mold is especially dangerous and could require as much as a Hazmat team to come in and take care of it, locating the source and destroying it.  These types could stop the sale of a house if you are the seller.  If you are the buyer, or leaser, in certain states the owner needs to take care of the problem before you move in.  If you are already living there they must pay for accommodations elsewhere until the mold is taken care of.  These molds can’t be killed with common household ingredients which is why it takes specialists time to eliminate it.

Foundation Damage will leave you with no Cash

One of the hard things to detect is foundation damage in a house.  Sometimes it is obvious such as part of the house falling apart, or leaning.  In these extreme cases the house must be determined if the foundation is salvageable to be lived in.  In minor case the foundation can be repaired, although it could mean ripping out a wall, or part of the floor to get to the damaged area, then re-pouring the concrete.  It could take months for this to happen.  Nobody wants this to happen to their house, but if you live in an area prone to Earthquakes, Mudslides, or Tornadoes it is a possibility.  It is also very expensive and not always covered by your homeowner’s insurance.

Electrical Wiring is the hardest to detect

While foundation damage is difficult to check for, electrical wiring is just as hard if not harder to look for.  You could live in the house for years and never know where is a problem with the wiring, or you could be there a few minutes and instantly know there is something wrong.  Since the wiring is in the walls, you can’t inspect them without tearing the walls apart.  You can inspect the sockets where you are supposed to plug things into though.  Unscrew them and take the plates off the wall to get a better look at what is going on.  If there are any burn marks, melting of the plastic or loose wires hanging around after you take the panel off, there could be a problem.  This doesn’t mean there is a problem if you find these things, but there is the potential to become one if you don’t get it attended to.

If you are at an open house and thinking of buying the house, check out the fuse box, or fuse panel before you do.  It should be labeled and easy to read, so if it is not you could have some work on your hands.  It should be clean and have no burn marks or scoring on it either.

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