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Common Problems Revealed by Home Inspectors

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The purpose of a home inspection report is to provide the buyer with as much accurate information as possible so that the buyer is aware of the repair costs that will be associated with the house they are purchasing. Cosmetic defects are usually not reported but major defects are used to either negotiate a lower price with the seller or to back out of the deal entirely. Here are some of the most common, and most important, problems that are uncovered during a home inspection report. 1. Faulty or outdated wiring. This can include open junction boxes, mismatched amperage, and even outdated wiring such as knob-and-tube wiring. 2. Poor draining as a result of improper grading. Spongy soil is not the only side effect of poor drainage on a property. Poor drainage often results in basement leakage which affects the structural integrity of the house over time. 3. Hazardous Materials. Old homes, especially ones built close to or over 100 years ago, were often insulated with asbestos. Sometimes a few pipes are insulated with asbestos and it only costs a few thousand dollars to remove. Other times however, the entire house may contain asbestos insulation. The fix requires creating a negative vacuum seal in the entire house, which means it remains uninhabitable for some time. The hazardous materials must then be legally disposed of. This process is not only incredibly invasive for the homeowner as it requires the home to be vacant, but the fix costs upwards of $50,000.  4. Roof problems or expired roof. An old roof is expensive to fix, and you may be required to apply new shingles, replace flashings, and if the roof is in bad condition, you may need to re-build the chimney. 5. Foundation Flaws and structural issues. See our previous blog post on this topic. These issues can range from simple cracks and easy fixes, to foundational problems requiring the foundation to be dugout and replaced entirely.  6. Poor Plumbing. You can refer to our blog post on the issues that poor plumbing can result in. Home inspectors are sure to find out whether a home is fitted with galvanized piping. If it is, they will do a thorough inspection for leakage and water damage that may have resulted from this outdated plumbing. 7. Poor Ventilation. This is often discovered in the attic region of the house. Poor ventilation can result in extreme vapor condensation which can lead to a host of issues including mold & mildew infestations, and rapidly deteriorating drywall. 8. Defective Heating. This is usually found by inspecting the water tank and testing for carbon monoxide leaks. The fix involves resealing the chimney or repairing (and sometimes replacing) the water heater.

As a seller, the last thing you want is to have a deal fall through because of a deficiency the home inspector finds in the final stages of selling your house. Nothing is more heart wrenching than having a deal slip through your hands at the last minute.

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