The 6 Most Common Home Inspection Problems

Foreclosures continue to dominate the market.  This creates incredible buying opportunities, however, because most of these properties are sold “as-is”, buyers must be very cautious and do proper due diligence when purchasing a foreclosure.  A good home inspection becomes a critical tool for a buyer during this process.  According to HGTV, here are the six most common problems uncovered through the home inspection process and the main issues that a home buyer needs to investigate before buying a foreclosure:

1. Water problems.  Leaky pipes, unseen leaks behind siding or in roofs, and water intrusion into basements and attics are the #1 problem uncovered on home inspections.  These are serious issues that can be quite costly to fix.  In 36% of homes inspected, poor grading and drainage were observed, which often times is the source of major water problems.

2. Roofing.  The roof is a difficult part of the house to inspect and inspectors don’t always climb atop roofs when preparing the home inspection report and much can be missed from the ground.  Roofs don’t last forever and they will begin to show diminishing performance over time.  Some roofs have also been improperly installed leaving gaps for water, rodents, and insects to enter the home.  Make sure the roof is safe and effective before pulling the trigger on a foreclosure.

3. Electrical wiring.  Incorrect or undersized wiring can be disastrous and dangerous for home owners.  Older homes were never wired to handle the amount of appliances, electronics, and modern conveniences that they must today, and when overloaded, have the potential for fire.  Another major problem seen by inspectors is do-it-yourself projects that result in overloaded circuits and exposed wiring!

4. Plumbing.  Unfortunately, the most common places for plumbing leaks are behind walls, under floors, and in connections between pipes.  In addition, the water often runs down walls and often collects in places nowhere near the true source of the leak!  Thus, fixing these leaks can be quite problematic and expensive.  It can also lead to consequences like mold damage or even pests like carpenter ants.

5. Heating and Cooling.  An inspector will run a furnace and air conditioner through a cycle to ensure they are working but home buyers should also investigate how much the longer the units will last.  If they need replacing any time soon, then this cost should be built into the projected cost of the home.

6. Decks.  A beautiful outdoor space can actually be covertly hiding structural problems or poor workmanship.  Investigate who built the deck and when.  If the home owner built the deck be extra careful with the due diligence.  Make sure the deck is structurally sound and safe.

There are fantastic deals available in the market place today, but it is more important than ever that buyers do proper due diligence to make sure the money saved does not disappear in costly repairs.

April 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment

About James

James A. Williamson is currently the Sr VP of Sales Development for Shelter Lending Services (formerly Fairfield Mortgage). James joined Shelter in 1994 and was the company's top Loan Officer in GA for 20 straight years helping over 2500 families finance their homes. James now oversees an incredible group of Loan Officers in Atlanta while further building Shelter's Atlanta business.

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