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Hidden Defects: Home Inspections That Save Buyers Money

August 25, 2016

Hidden Defects in a Home Inspections That Save Buyers Money

A home inspection is a necessary and common step in the home-buying process. However, there are other potentially important inspections that could affect your home purchase.

Usually suggested by your inspector or real estate agent, they typically surface from issues found during the general inspection or that have been provided in the sellers’ disclosure. Focused on one area or system, these inspections dig deep into the health of the home to expose potential issues

Sewer inspection

The time to find out if your dream home has a faulty sewer system or requires any repair is before the closing, not after you’ve signed on the dotted line. This inspection is especially important for houses that are 20 years older or more. Not only can the pipes erode and break down, but tree roots also can wreak havoc, leaving you with an expensive repair bill

Using a camera attached to the end of a plumbing snake, your sewer professional will be able to view the interior of the plumbing lines and any issues they may contain. When you’re armed with the results, inform the seller of any issues and negotiate necessary repairs or replacement during the inspection period.

Oil tank inspection

The presence of an oil tank on a property is usually noted by the seller in the disclosure statement or by the home inspector during the visual inspection of the property grounds. While oil tank laws vary widely between states, it’s common practice to have an inspection and check for leakage and/or contaminated soil. In some areas, unused tanks must be issued a decommissioned certification before the sale can proceed. A licensed oil tank inspector can advise you of local laws and ensure the oil tank on your new property won’t prevent you from closing on the sale.

HVAC Inspection

If during the general inspection the heating unit is not performing as it should, your inspector may suggest calling in a professional to pinpoint the issue. Perhaps the air ducts are blocked or the unit itself is not working or hasn’t been maintained properly — any of those could be cause for concern. A HVAC Technician will clean and maintain the system as well as advise any repairs or replacements. Consider the cost of this service money well spent to avoid issues down the road.

Roof inspection

A roof is one of the most costly components of a home to repair and replace. A thorough report from a roof inspector provides an accurate assessment of the current condition of the roof as well as its proposed longevity. The inspector will check for movement and condition of roof materials, functionality of gutters and drains, plus flashing. After any necessary repairs are completed, the roofing company will estimate the remaining years of the roof’s life and certify its inspection.

Foundation inspection

Foundation issues can be some of the most costly to repair. If your general inspector notices cracks in the foundation, they’ll typically suggest having a separate inspection done. A foundation expert will be able to distinguish minor cracks, which can be common in older homes, from major foundational problems. Word to the wise: If your general inspection report lists a foundational crack, it’s common for your lender to require another inspection with an all-clear certification before they will lend on the property.

Pest/termite inspection

A general rule of thumb is, the higher the humidity, the more issues homeowners have with pests and termites. Calling in a professional will not cost you a lot of money, but it could save you big bucks in the long run. Termites eat wood from the inside out; there may be no obvious signs of their presence until your front porch starts leaning to the left.

An inspector will search for the presence of these tiny pests, evaluate the damage, and take steps to eliminate them. It’s advisable to have a pest and termite inspection every year or two depending on where your home is located. Also, an inspection company will usually warranty its past inspections for a period in case the pests show up again.