You may have saved for a down payment for years, looked at dozens of homes, and qualified for a traditional mortgage or even one of the bad credit home loans available. If you’re almost to the closing table, a home inspection may be next on your list of things to do. While the tile may gleam and the paint may match your style perfectly, there could be issues lurking within the house you need to know about. Here’s how to make sure you protect yourself with your home inspection.
Water stains can be evidence of a bigger problem. Leaks from the roof, around the foundation, or from plumbing issues can cause expensive damage to floors and walls.
Avoid issues by: Ask your inspector to assess any water stains on the floors and walls. Find out the severity and cost to have it repaired before you proceed.
The water problem above could have created mold. Expensive to remove and dangerous to leave, mold is one of the biggest issues you can uncover as a homeowner.
Avoid issues by: Pay close attention to the inspector’s report and require the current owners to address mold issues before closing.
Cracks in the home’s walls and uneven flooring may indicate the foundation is damaged. Repairing a foundation can run into thousands of dollars.
Avoid issues by: Your inspector can tell you the severity of any foundational issues he finds. Either negotiate for the seller to pay them, or plan on getting them fixed as soon as you purchase the home to keep the problem from getting worse.
“Varmints” as we say here in the South can be a major source of concern for a homebuyer. Termites cause extensive damage and are difficult to eliminate. You may see signs of an infestation like dead bugs or pest droppings.
Avoid issues by: If the home has pests, deal with them by hiring a professional exterminator. Negotiate with the seller to cover part of the costs of repairing the damage.
Outdated wiring is common in older homes, but that doesn’t make it less dangerous. A big fire hazard, old outlets and wiring that’s not up to code is a costly expense you don’t want to find in the home inspection.
Avoid it by: Talk to your inspector about the wiring, electrical outlets, and fuse box. Ask if they would feel comfortable living there the way they are now. If you’re buying an older home, it’s even more important to address these before closing.
Your home inspection will most likely find issues with your new home. Take a breath and realize that no home is perfect. Then weigh the findings and decide which of them, if any, are worth trying to get the seller to fix or help pay for. Only you know how badly you want the home and what you can afford after closing in terms of repairs.