When buying a new home, most people like to dream big. It is easy to get carried away, thinking about new paint colors and interior design trends. However, the best paint in the world can’t disguise a home’s serious problems — and the current owner may not tell you about them.
So how do you make sure that dream home doesn’t contain nightmarish problems? Hire a qualified home inspection, which will give you critical information about the home’s condition. In some cases, problems may seem obvious, but many people are surprised to learn just how many things show up on a home inspection that they do not expect. If you’re lucky, the home inspection will reveal some standard problems that warrant minor fixes. However, there are some problems that are more serious and may cause you to rethink the purchase.
1. Mold. Mold can come in a variety of forms, but none of them are good news on a home inspection. Mold is caused by dampness and is most often found in basements, bathrooms and kitchens. Sometimes it may be visible, but mold may also grow behind the drywall or under the floorboards. In most cases, mold must be professionally treated, which can be an expensive and difficult process. Fixing mold often requires removing affected parts of the home. There are also some bleach treatments that can be used to eradicate its presence. Worst of all, mold can come back if the source is not addressed, which makes it a valid long-term concern.
2. Termites. Everyone loves hard wood floors, including termites. Even if a home does not prominently feature wood, termites can still be a problem in the framing and siding of a home. These small bugs can do significant damage to a home, eating away at its integrity. In fact, a bad termite infestation can even compromise the structural integrity of the home. If termites show up on an inspection, there are ways to treat the problem, but the damage must be assessed. If the infestation is advanced enough, extreme measures may be needed to fix the damage. A home inspection will also look for other infestations from a variety of vermin.
3. Shaky foundation. Houses vary widely, but all of them start with a firm foundation. This foundation is essential to support the rest of the home. If the foundation has problems, then the rest of the house is invariably at risk. No matter how nice the home may appear, a foundation issue can literally rattle the whole deal. Cracks and bulging are telltale signs of a problem, and while some problems can be addressed relatively effectively, others may require extensive repair work to truly fix the problem.
4. Dated electrical. This is more common in older homes, but no matter when the home was built, a problem with the electrical system can be a headache. These problems are not only very dangerous, but they can be very costly to fix. After all, electrical systems go throughout the entire house. Grounding sockets may be easy, but if the problem relates to the nature of the wiring or how it is run throughout the walls, then the repair work may not only be extensive but especially destructive to other elements of the home. Similar problems can occur with plumbing and duct systems, which are not concentrated in one area of the home.
5. Roof issues. Roof issues can relate to the age of the shingles or the materials underneath. Other problems could include damage to the attic in general, and problems could include rotting, pest infestations and more. Roof issues can often go unchecked for long periods of time because most people do not get on their roof or in their attic on a regular basis. Replacing a few shingles can be an easy repair job, but usually when a roof starts to need work, the entire structure is suspect. Unfortunately, getting a whole new roof is an expensive proposition.
No one wants to hear bad news about the home they hope to buy. However, having an inspection to reveal these types of problems is essential in order to avoid completing a purchase with unknown variables.