Nobody wants a red flag when they’re having their home inspection but it’s also important to be aware of what could happen and issues that may be of concern to save yourself time, headaches and a lot of money in the future. Home inspectors do just that; inspect the property from top to bottom to see if there are any major issues, problems, hazards or small repairs that you might want to take care of before buying the home. However, major red flags could delay the purchase of a property or terminate the purchase altogether.
Here are five major home inspection red flags that all buyers should be aware of before signing on the closing line.
#1. Severe drain issues.
Poor drainage can lead to a mountain of issues and problems including wet basements, rotting wood, mildew and major mold growth. These are usually caused by damage gutters, improperly installed downspouts or poor grading of the property. Correcting these issues and replacing gutters can be a lot less costly than doing a major remodel from severe damage. It’s best to know these issues ahead of time to either have the seller or homeowner repair them or replace them or choose a different home altogether.
#2. Severe mold.
Now, it just about every home is going to have some sort of mold in it and not all mold is bad. However, excessive mold or moisture collects could be a threat to your health and the home structure. In proper ventilation in bathrooms, showers or in more contain spaces can cause mold and mildew to grow and build. Your home inspector should be able to tell you with the home has an extensive amount of mold in it simply by doing some tests and you should be able to tell because of a moldy or musty smell. However, not all mold emits a smell. Many mold including black mold and toxic mildew can be hidden behind walls and sheet rock. Sometimes you don’t even realize that they are there and tell you do a major remodel and find issues that are hidden. If there is any question as to whether or not the home has extensive mold, ask your home inspector for an additional inspection.
#3. Faulty foundation.
A faulty foundation could cost you tens of thousands of dollars to repair or replace. Any crumbling foundation could call for the attention and repair of a professional and it could be astronomically expensive. Sometimes, the damage is so extensive that a complete replacement is necessary. If the seller is unwilling to complete this, you’ll be in for a hefty bill at the end. This is a big red flag, one in which all buyers should be well aware of before purchasing any property.
#4. Outdated wiring.
For homeowners looking for an older home prior to 1940, they may be experiencing outdated wiring. Of course, any home will have its electricity inspected but older homes may still have knob and tube wiring. This type of wiring is probably not up to code and could cause potential fire hazards if not replaced. Replacing all the electricity and wiring in the home can cost thousands of dollars, so it’s something to be well aware of during the inspection.
Homes built prior to 1975 may have lead or asbestos in the home. While many homes built prior to this year will naturally have lead-based paint, it’s probably been covered up numerous times by updated paint and unless you’re going to remove the paint completely or have small children or animals gnawing on paint chips, it’s probably best left alone. However, asbestos, if it is to be removed, should be done professionally by qualified asbestos removal experts. If you don’t touch the asbestos, it’s perfectly safe. However, regardless of whether or not you’re planning on removing these items, it’s best to know if the house has them at all for future resale issues. Other toxic issues could be something a little more recent such as Chinese drywall. Many homes built in 2004 and 2005 may have this product in the home, which has a sulfur component and can lead to illness and damage to home systems. You’ll need to have it removed completely and replace in any home that your planning on buying.
Of course, all inspectors should be able to tell you if a home have any of these five red flags and what you can do about it. Many experienced home inspectors may also offer tips and suggestions on pricing and who you could call for repair or replacement. For more information on home inspections stay tuned to our blog or contact one of our home inspectors today for a qualified home inspection.