When buying a new home, we always hope the home is perfect and there are no issues found during the home inspection, unfortunately, that is not the reality. In fact, 86% of homes will have issues found during a home inspection. This article will help you understand what issues to look out for and provide suggestions on how to fix them.
The Importance of a Home Inspection During the Home Buying Process
A home inspection is an essential step that all home buyers should take. Home Inspections by a trained and professional inspector become imperative to making an educated decision in a real estate transaction. Through a home inspection, the clients understand the existing and potential issues in a home to avoid costly repairs, deferred maintenance and possible health hazards, helping them get peace of mind on their most valuable investment. Additionally, your inspection can help you create a home maintenance checklist so you can start saving for repairs that aren’t needed right now but may be needed down the road. On top of helping create a maintenance checklist, a WIN Full Home Inspection gives you access to WIN’s Appliance Recall System. Appliance recall allows you to register your appliances and receive updates and recall information straight from the. Manufacturer.
The Most Common Issues Found in a Home Inspection
Even the perfect home may have some minor issues that need to be addressed. Often sellers fall victim to “new home goggles” and tend to overlook or become blind to some of the faults with the home. New home goggles are a very common theme and a home inspection can help guard against it by looking for and detecting issues like:
- Structural issues like cracks in the foundation
- Electrical issues like outdating wiring
- Plumbing issues like leaky or clogged pipes
- Heating and cooling issues like clogged filters
- Roofing Issues like detonating shingles
- Pest Issues like hidden infestations
Structural issues are one of the first things a home inspector will look at when conducting a home inspection. Some of the more common structural issues inspectors come across are foundation cracks and settling issues. Over the year, as homes settle into the foundation and the soil beneath it, the weight distribution can become uneven. This uneven settling can create added pressure in certain areas in your foundation, potentially leading to cracks. A cracked foundation is very hazardous and can become susceptible to leaks which can cause water damage and rot, as well as mold, radon and termites.
Electrical issues are another problem that plague buyers, especially in homes built before the 1990s. Common electrical issues include outdated or faulty wiring, overloaded circuits and improper grounding. These electrical problems can not only create inefficiencies in your home causing your energy bills to increase, but also be a major fire hazard. In fact, electrical malfunction is the 2nd leading cause of house fires in the U.S. Even if no electrical issues are found during your initial home inspection, it is important to keep an eye on the condition of your electrical system over the years. One way to do so is by scheduling a Home Maintenance Inspection every three years. A Home Maintenance Inspection is similar to a full home inspection in that it carefully examines over 300 components inside and outside of your home, including your electrical system. A regular Home Maintenance Inspection can identify electrical issues that may arise and help keep your home and family safe.
Plumbing issues are an unfortunate problem that can happen to homes of any age at any time, which is why it’s important to make sure your plumbing is in good condition prior to moving in. Common plumbing issues discovered during a home inspection include leaky pipes, clogged drains, and outdated or faulty plumbing fixtures. These common plumbing issues can cause a snowball effect of other problems such as drainage backup, water damage and even burst pipes, all of which can be laborious and expensive repairs. It’s important to make sure any plumbing issues found during your inspection are repaired before moving in.
Another common thing detected during a home inspection are issues with the Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning system. It is common for older homes to have older or outdated HVAC systems, which can lead to operating inefficiencies like using too much energy which can lead to increased energy costs. Home inspectors also come across improperly vented appliances which can create backups and gas build-up in the vents and ducts, both of which can have serious health-related repercussions like carbon monoxide inhalation. In addition to blockages, many homes may also have issues with their air ducts. As homes age and settle, the ductwork and ventilation can shift, creating gaps or cracks where air can escape, which may also result in higher energy bills. Not only can detecting and repairing HVAC issues prior to move-in help keep your family safe and healthy, but also it can save you thousands of dollars in future repair costs and up to 15% in energy costs!
Wood Destroying Organism Issues
Finally, another common issue home inspectors come across during a home inspection is evidence of a pest infestation. You can identify pest infestations in a number of ways. Sometimes there may be obvious signs like animal droppings, teeth marks or noises within your walls. Other times, pests may be buried so deep into the wall that it’s almost impossible to detect them without professional equipment. The damage caused by pests can vary depending on the type of pest infestation you have and how many. If you have larger pests like rodents hiding in your home, they can sometimes gnaw through electrical wiring creating fire hazards and electrical problems. Other pests like insects can eat away at the wood supporting your home causing a weakened and potentially unsafe structure. That is why it’s paramount to have your home inspected for pests regularly. WIN offers a Wood Destroying Organism/Insect Inspection that can help detect infestations in your home and provide suggestions to remedy them.
How to Fix Common Issues Found During a Home Inspection
Hearing that there are issues with your new home can be frightening; however, we are here to reassure you that everything is going to be okay. In fact, it is much better if issues are detected early before they become more serious. If your home inspection does reveal issues, the first thing to do is to speak with your home inspector to help determine the severity of them. Your home inspector may tell you it’s okay to wait on a few issues while you address others, just know that it will vary on a case-by-case basis.
Once you prioritize repairs and maintenance, the next step is to contact a licensed and professional contractor to come in and give you repair estimates. You may not need to make these repairs right away, but it’s important to understand what the repairs will eventually cost, this will help you make an informed and educated decision on whether you need to revisit the initial offer on the home or not.
Why is It Important to Address Issues Found in a Home Inspection?
Immediately addressing issues found in a home inspection is important for several reasons, the first being safety. Addressing issues and repairs quickly can help ensure that your home and family will be safe when it comes time to move in, providing you with the peace of mind you deserve. Another reason to address issues and repairs quickly is that it can save you money. The average homeowner spends $81,000 on repairs and over $20,000 on emergency repairs throughout the course of their homeownership, and addressing maintenance concerns early, before they become larger issues, can save you thousands of dollars, ease headaches down the road, and provide you with peace of mind knowing you are making a sound investment.
If you have any questions about what else can be found or would like to schedule a Home Inspection, please contact your local WIN Home Inspector.