Eventually, you’re going to get to know every nook and cranny of the house you buy, but for now, you’re expected to know whether you want to commit to 30 years worth of mortgage payments based on a couple hours of walk-throughs. Sounds kind of crazy when you put it that way, right?
That’s why we have a home inspection. The home inspection is your best opportunity to really look under the hood of the home you’re planning to buy and identify any problems — or potential problems — that might be costly down the road. Hire someone that you trust, and be critical.
While most issues are minor, here are some red flags likely to turn into big-money issues down the road.
EVIDENCE OF MOLD
While most types of household mold are unlikely to harm you, it’s typically an indication of water damage, which can be a bigger problem. If you’re buying an older home, consider having a mold inspection to ensure that there are no hidden leaks or water damage to your home.
Make sure your home inspector has assessed the foundation of your home to look for drainage issues, pilling issues or structural issues (especially if you live in an area susceptible to flooding).
Although you never want to see evidence of pests on an inspection report, termites can be particularly devastating to your home — and they are not as uncommon as you might think. Ask your home inspector to use infrared technology to look deep into the structure of the home to ensure that there are no issues.
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM PROBLEMS
If you have an older home, this one is especially important. Homes are becoming smarter and more tech savvy (think smart thermostats and home entertainment) and some electrical systems can’t keep up. Electrical repairs are expensive, so if your inspector finds any issues with your home’s electrical system, be sure to take them seriously.
Questions about the home inspection process? Ask away in the comments below.