Buying a house can be daunting in that you really don’t know what you are getting into, fully, until you move in and live in it for awhile. However, getting a home inspection can usually give you a good idea by advising how each part of your house is, whether it needs repairs, updates by code, or likely may need some work in the near future. Some of this is easier to determine by the age of the item. For example if a roof is 50 years old (I know, just pulled a number out of the air), it just might need to be replaced or repaired.. whereas a brand new roof will have a lot of years left in it.
The Big Dangers
When a home inspector gets under the hood, or roof, if you will, they will help determine the structurally soundness of the house, the walls and all of those big ticket items like the air conditioner, hot water heat, house electric, plumbing and roof. These are the more important issues you should be concerned with when the inspection report comes back as these can set you back a pretty penny if they need to be repaired or replaced after you take over the house. Similarly, if there are many problems, this is the last opportunity you really have to walk away from the deal. It might be the point where you want to renegotiate. Talk to your realtor on this!
Such a Pest
We have all had our run of squirrels, rats or mice in the attic, ants or cockroaches in the kitchen and house and nobody likes to have to deal with those issues so starting with a clean slate is best. We suggest getting a maintenance contract with a pest control company to help keep those problems at bay once you move in.
Some home inspectors have equipment such as thermography that can detect moisture, pests and structural damage. If you fear this could be an issue for you and your potential new home, spend the extra money to get it checked.
Termites are the other big pest. Most, if not all, home closings require a home inspection and clean bill of health. We suggest a termite contract as well due to the serious problems and extreme inconvenience that termite problems can cause if not treated. The cost of the initial inspection and annual maintenance is nothing compared to the long run hassle.
Remember that most pests aren’t just a nuisance but they also can damage your home, chewing through wires, terrorizing your kitchen pantry, keep you up at night scratching on walls and the smell of their waste or deceased bodies in your home.
Behind the Walls / Under the Floors
Speaking of wires.. these are one of those things that are often missed in your DIY house inspection and by home inspectors. It isn’t intentional or for the lack of trying as you or your home inspector can’t tear down the walls. Your home inspector will check the wiring in the attic, the control panel and circuit breakers and where there are exposed wires and connections. Often if there are visible issues, there may be hidden issues (like from rodents eating their way around) as well. They check to be sure these panel boxes are to code, that the larger appliances are hooked up with the correct wattage and the like. Again, these are usually good indicators if further issues.
Old pipes are another one of those things that you can’t see. You can flush and flush a toilet, but if the pipes are old, rusty, have roots growing into them, it will take some time, and waste, going through it to flush out the problem.
These are a few of those underlying issues that can cause serious havoc and waste plenty of money by having to replace all of the plumbing or electrical work. Some of these issues are also those that can cause fires or flooding which turn into a much bigger issue.
Home inspectors or contractors can provide services to give you deeper understandings into the behind the scenes potential issues within your home. Either way, it is worth the time and money to know what you are getting into, what issues you are buying into so you can make a better decision of the purchase of that home.
Should you want to check out other services that home inspectors provide, take a look at our services page and let us know if you have any questions. We are here to help you.