Whether you’re selling your current home or buying a new one (or more likely, both) you need to know about potential problem areas beforehand. If you live in a house long enough you learn to overlook the flickering lights or the corner of the roof that leaks in the attic (you just put a bucket under it and call it a day). And the fact that a marble set on the floor of the living room rolls to one side can be chalked up to normal settling of the home, or so you keep telling yourself. But if prospective buyers insist on bringing in their own home inspector, you want to be prepared for exactly what they’re going to find since serious issues could derail your sale. And if you’re the party that’s buying you definitely don’t want to rely on the word of an overworked municipal inspector hired by the bank.
Image via: Hendel Homes
Here are just a few good reasons why it pays to hire your own inspector to uncover serious problems before you try to buy or sell a property.
1. Cracked foundation.
Any problem with the foundation is bound to come with major expense, especially if it has cracked, allowing moisture (and other potential issues) access to the home from below. This problem could leave you lifting the entire framework of the home in order to repair or replace the foundation, at major expense. Or you might discover, to your great shock, that your house isn’t even built on a slab. This can certainly stop the sale of the home if not rectified and it’s one of the biggest nightmares faced by homeowners.
2. Termite infestation.
These tiny pests can wreak havoc on your structure and if you don’t know the warning signs or you’re not looking, they could literally eat you out of house and home. Since they attack the wooden structures inside your house, burrowing holes and creating moisture that seriously degrade the integrity of the structure, you could end up with sagging ceilings, walls, and flooring before they’re through, not to mention a house that is unsalable at best and likely to be condemned at the worst.
3. Faulty wiring.
With more and more homes relying on outdated wiring to support the load of heavy electronics usage, it’s not surprising that electrical systems that are just a few decades old simply can’t handle the draw required to run a modern home. This can lead to breakers that constantly trip, or in a worst case scenario, an electrical box that bursts into flames, potentially burning down the home.
Image via: Romani Architecture
4. Water damage.
Many homeowners will simply paint over water spots, never realizing the problems they could signal. But a home inspector worth his salt will suss out other telltales signs of leakage, such as moisture, bulging, mold, and so forth, detecting the leak even through a paint job. And it could presage a complete overhaul of plumbing, sewage, or even the roof, depending on where the water is coming from.
5. Modifications without permits.
Whether you’re looking to buy or sell a private home or you’re investing in LWP property projects, having the proper permits for work completed is essential if you want to pass inspection. Not only will a good inspector note modifications that are not up to code, but he’ll check to make sure permits are in place for any new construction he sees.
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