Don’t Ignore these Important Home Inspection Flags
Purchasing a home is one of the most important things you will do in your life. For many people, their home represents an important financial part of their future retirement. With that in mind, you want to make sure the home you are buying sits as advertised. If you don’t know by now, you need to know that a complete home inspection prior to buying a particular home is absolutely necessary in order to protect your best interests.
Why a Home Inspection is so Important
While a home can look cosmetically perfect on the outside, there can be many issues on the inside that can render a home unreliable and unsafe for occupancy. The only way to dig under the surface to get a realistic idea of the soundness of a home is through a home inspection. In many cases, a lender will require a complete home inspection prior to providing financing. If the lender doesn’t make such a request, it is incumbent on you to do so. By securing a home inspection, you can use the results as leverage to get substantial problems fixed prior to closing the deal, or you can make the decision to walk away if the issues create too much risk.
Home Inspection Issues to Pay Attention To:
After a home inspection report has been issued, you should get the opportunity to sit down with the seller to determine which items should be fixed by the seller prior to closing and which items you are willing to handle yourself. Since you might not understand the gravity of the problems highlighted by the inspector’s report, here’s a list of six red flags you should not ignore. The possible magnitude of these items demands you be willing to walk away if the seller is not willing to make the necessary fixes to your complete satisfaction.
1. The Foundation – The foundation is critical for any home. Believe it or not, there are visual signs you can use to determine whether or not there might be issues with the foundation. These signs include a house that seems to be leaning too far in one direction, cracked window frames, cracked walls, cracked ceiling panels or creaking floors. If foundation problems exist, you might want to just walk away since they are expensive and time consuming to fix.
2. Pests – Termites and some species of beetles can literally eat the foundation of a home. If any pest damage is detected, you will want to require that the seller fix any existing damage and take the steps necessary to eradicate the pests. You should also look for signs related to cockroaches and rats. While they might not be a big risk to the actual home, they could present a threat to the health of you and your family members. Rats, cockroaches and mice are common in wooded areas and areas where there is a lot of ongoing construction.
3. Wiring – When wiring goes bad, the home becomes a potential fire trap. If the home inspector finds the wiring that is outdated or deteriorating, this should be considered a must-fix on the part of the seller because of the potential costs involved. Depending on the extent of the problem, this could also be a deal breaker.
4. Strange Smells – Smell is powerful scent. It is used to alert us to things that might be harmful to us. If you walk through a house with strange or pungent smells, your nose is telling you problems are lurking. Since it’s hard to fix smell, this is one of those red flags that should drive you away.
5. Mold – – While a little mold around a bathroom fixture is usually easy to fix and not a material problem, it should cause you to look closely in other areas of the home. Due to the risks to your health and the home’s foundation, you should walk away from material mold issues.
6. Home Maintenance – Unless you like fixer-uppers, homes that have been poorly maintained almost always have issues that range from annoying to costly. Since it’s difficult to determine the extent of potential damage due to a general lack of maintenance, you would be better served to pass and look for homes that have been treated well.
There are thousands of homes for sale at any given time. Without nitpicking, you should never settle for a home with serious red flags. If the seller is willing to fix fixable issues or adjust the selling price to give you room to fix them, the home could still be a viable alternative. However, you must be willing to walk away from issues that could take a lot of time and money to fix because of the risks involved.