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Red Flags to Watch Out For in a Home Inspection

Posted on Feb 15, 2014

 

 

Common House Problems

A home inspection is always a critical part of the decision making process when you are looking to buy a home. It aims to help you spot the strengths, but mostly the flaws of the house, so you can better decide whether to negotiate and buy it or to walk away.

Red Flags

These are the most common red flags that should tell you to negotiate for a lower price or to look for another home:

–       Asbestos. This harmful chemical is usually found in homes that were constructed before July 1989. It should be disposed of by professionals, which means spending a lot of money on the service.

–       Foundation issues. Although not all small cracks signify that the home isn’t strong enough, it’s the root cause of such cracks that is more important. It could just be the structure settling in or it could be worse, such as poor oil conditions or uprooting from large tree roots, the latter of which  might  be a good reason to withdraw your offer.

–       Mould. Some mould issues can be easily resolved, such as the bathroom mould that can be removed by an exhaust fan. But if the mould is caused by major roof leakage or plumbing damage, it could mean huge repair costs.

–       Drainage issues. You wouldn’t want to live in as home with constantly wet basements, wood rot, mould growth, or wet crawlspaces due to drainage problems. But once these issues are addressed, the one-time upfront cost of replacing or repairing gutters will be small compared to the damage of seemingly everlasting moisture.

–       Damaged roofing. The home inspector can assess the extent of the damage to your old roof. If it’s a major one, such as a damage to the structure of the roof or its wood, make sure you get the right roof and roofing professionals to avoid wasting thousands of dollars.

–       Pests. Homes are often hosts to different types of pests, from termites and rats to cockroach, which can damage the house. It’s up to the home inspector to assess how serious the pest problem of the house is. If you want to know how much it would cost to hire a pest control company so you will have an idea of how much to negotiate for.

–       Lead paint. This is often found in older homes. Lead paint is especially considered unsafe for young children and it can be expensive to have removed.

–       Plumbing and electrical problems. If these are not addressed right away, this could lead to even bigger problems, such as starting a fire. The home inspector can tell you whether the plumbing was done properly. If not, calculate the cost of having it repaired before deciding what to do with the house under inspection.

Negotiating Based on the Home Inspection Results

Whatever you find out of the home inspection, you can use it to negotiate with the seller better. It could be about how the owner of the house should be responsible for repairing the major problems or to cut the price down so you can spend the money you saved for repairs. This is the biggest importance of getting a home inspection done. Make sure to watch out for the red flags too before buying a home.