More and more smart buyers and sellers request home inspections during the sales process. While neither the buyer or seller want to be broadsided with the bill for thousands of dollars, both sides fare better when they know the exact condition of the house. Hidden within every house are things the average person cannot see. Even home inspectors often see just the evidence of problems, unless they dig deeper to see the roots. No matter how well-build a home is, there are certain expensive problems that come with age.
The Five Big Problems A Thorough Inspection May Uncover
Suppose you are a seller or buyer of a 50-year-old house. Though you know the age of your home, you need to be aware of a few other vital statistics as well. If you have reason to suspect potentially serious problems, you should mention them to the inspector – especially if you are the seller, who has lived in the home and may have recognized potential issues. In this case, “50 years” is not a magic number, as homes of age can have problems.
1. How old is the roof? Roofing can last from 10 to 50 years, but may need repairs from weather damage, insect infestation, water leakage, and more. Are the shingles or other material intact? Does the roof show signs of weakness? Can you see rotting eaves that might indicate water damage under the shingles that might require roof repair or even a new roof.
2. How old is the electrical system? Codes have changed over the last couple decades, so wiring systems such as knob and tube or aluminum wiring are no longer permitted, as they have been judged to be unsafe. An inspector might not be aware that this kind of wiring looks into the wall, the age of the electrical system is a dead giveaway. It might be worth it to you as the seller to cut open the wall so that the inspector can take a look at the wiring.
3. Has the house ever experienced water damage or had a long-term moisture problem? Does the home have a moldy smell? Do you see the telltale small black spots of mold? Do paint and wallpaper peel, crackle, or bubble in the home? Do the walls feel moist? Do you find yourself sniffling, sneezing, or experiencing headaches or other symptoms? There may be toxic mold in the home that needs remediation.
4. Do you see signs of pest infestation in the home, such as pest droppings, evidence of nests, dead bugs, or a stream of live bugs? Do you hear noises coming from within your walls? Do you see gnaw marks on woodwork or electrical wiring? Get you see holes, have sagging floors, or notice fecal pellets that resemble sawdust that might indicate termite damage? Aside from the disgust factor of having bugs in your house, pests might have done long-term damage.
5. Is the home structurally sound? Are there large cracks in the foundation? Do you see walls that bow or seem off-centre? Are floors weak? Are there rotted joists? Most homes settle, but when walls lean or you have excessive cracks, your home may have structural damage. Any of these problems can be costly to fix, but whether you’re a buyer or seller, knowledge is power.. Not all inspectors are qualified to handle all the problems mentioned above, but they can do tests that indicate you could have a serious problem, they can recommend a specialist.
How To Respond To Inspection Findings
As a seller, you have a legal obligation to disclose any problems you find. However, you can decide what you have the means to fix. You can present the inspection findings to a serious potential buyer and price the house accordingly. This puts you in the position of being able to negotiate a deal on the house that will not later be undermined by inspection surprises.
Many sellers these days are obtaining homes inspections on their own, but as a buyer, you should still spring for a home inspection as well, to uncover any undisclosed problems. If inspection report discloses issues, you can negotiate with the seller and even walk away if they defect is serious.
Having an experienced Realtor® on hand can guide you through any inspection issues. After many years of working in Halifax real estate, I know how to get your home ready to sell and how to advise you to analyze a home you plan to buy. I would like to offer you my eBook, “11 Things You Need To Know To Pass Your Home Inspection.” Just click this link to download.
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|Roy Thomas SRES® (Senior’s Real Estate Specialist) is a REALTOR® with Sutton Group Professional Realty. Since 1991 Roy specializes in helping retirees with their later in life real estate transactions. If you are contemplating a move and would like a complimentary copy of Roy’s guide to downsizing entitled “Preparing to Downsize” please click here.|