Common Issues Found During a Home Inspection: What Buyers Need to Know
This article discusses What Buyers Need to Know about Home Inspections.
A Home Inspection will expose safety issues and maintenance problems that could create serious trouble and expenses down the road. Inspections help everyone understand the condition of a property, and thus the risks that should be considered before proceeding in a transaction.
In Texas, a home buyer should always complete a home inspection to identify any underlying problems during the Option Period. In this article, we will explore some common issues that are frequently discovered during a home inspection.
Home inspections will include an evaluation of all the important mechanical and structural systems of the home, which include:
- Air conditioner and furnace
- Attic and appliances
- Sprinkler Systems
- A general look at the interior and exterior parts of the home
Common issues found during a home inspection:
One of the first things to consider when inspecting a home is its structural integrity. Some common causes of foundation failure include plumbing leaks, poor building site preparation, drainage issues, tree roots, poor soil conditions, and even evaporation in a very hot summer. Addressing structural problems can be a costly endeavor, so it’s essential to assess these issues thoroughly.
Plumbing problems are often discovered during a home inspection. Hidden leaks and mold growth are concerns that should not be overlooked, as they can lead to extensive damage and expensive repairs. Stains on the ceiling, musty odors, and fractured plumbing are indicators of potential plumbing issues and should be taken seriously.
Electrical problems are among the most commonly unnoticed issues when purchasing a home. Worn wires, overloaded circuits, and exposed wires can pose fire hazards and should be identified during a home inspection. Upgrading old electrical systems to meet modern safety standards can be expensive, sometimes costing thousands of dollars. Ensuring the presence of functioning GFCI outlets, which prevent deadly shocks, is also crucial. It’s important to not overlook these electrical concerns and allocate funds accordingly for necessary repairs.
Heating/Cooling System Issues:
Heating and cooling systems are areas that can cause problems if not thoroughly inspected. Inefficient or malfunctioning systems could be attributed to improper installation of ductwork, inadequate sealing, or the system reaching the end of its lifespan. The average lifespan of an HVAC system is 10 to 20 years, depending on maintenance. An HVAC technician can assess any issues and make minor repairs to enhance efficiency.
Pest infestations can plague a property, leading to significant issues and costly extermination. Detecting signs of pest activity, such as mud tubes in crawl spaces or visible termites, is crucial during a home inspection. Termites, in particular, can cause severe damage to a home’s structural integrity by feeding on exposed wood. If the property is located in an area prone to termite problems, it is advisable to invest in a termite bond for routine assessments and necessary treatments.
Home inspections are a critical part of the home buying and selling process. Failure to obtain a home inspection could potentially cost a buyer a great deal of money and hassles in the long run.
I ALWAYS meet the inspector and buyer at the end of an inspection to hear the findings and get a good look at exactly what the inspector has found. I’m not there to take over the meeting, I’m there to support my client and to suggest questions that the buyer might not have thought to ask. Sometimes buyers may think an item is a major problem when it may only be a $100 fix. Buyers often feel more comfortable with the process if I am involved in every aspect and know what to do and who to call when more information is needed.
Being hands on with inspections has also helped me and my sellers. Having a through understanding of the inspection process allows me to walk a home and point out items that may need to be repaired in advance of listing a home on the market. Realtors® are not inspectors, but we can be very helpful to both buyers and sellers by understanding when something could be a problem - and knowing who to call.