Every step in a real estate transaction is important, but the home inspection really should not be skipped. A home inspection is a limited, non-invasive examination of the condition of a home, often in connection with the sale of that home. Home inspections are usually conducted by a home inspector who has the training and certifications to perform such inspections.
Except in very rare situations, smart REALTORS® will always advise their buyers to have the home inspected by a licensed inspector. Be prepared to pay a few hundred dollars, but the cost is well worth it especially if the inspection report comes back with a major repair.
When you’re on the house hunt you can help find a structurally sound house by keeping a look out for some of these signs of wear and tear on a house.
- Signs of moisture damage
Wet, clammy, sticky, smelly rooms can hint as water seepage caused by improperly graded soil or an improperly laid foundation. A damp attic could mean ventilation problems – and without proper ventilation the home could suffer from dry rot or condensation that could create mold.
- Noticeable cracks
A visible crack link in the interior of the home or on the exterior foundation could point to more-than-normal settling.
- Poorly fitted duct work
Heating and cooling systems can be problematic. Check the duct lines to see that they fit snugly and securely.
- Improperly fitted skylights
Skylights are usually one-piece preassembled units that are popped into a hole in the roof. Look for discoloration, peeling paint, or other signs that the skylights were improperly fitted or may be leaking.
- Sloppy masonry work
Look at steps, outer brick work, and fireplaces. If there are loose or cracked bricks it is a sign of a larger problem.
- DIY Electrical Work
There are a few projects that you should avoid doing yourself, and electrical work is definitely one. Look for loose wires, and take a look at the outlets in the home.
Keeping an eye out for some of these potential hazards is a great way to help you master your home search.