Home repairs often come with a hefty price tag. That’s why it’s essential to have a home inspection before you make the largest financial purchase of your life.
Waiving a home inspection can quickly turn your dream home into a money pit. The problem is, not all of the most expensive fixes are visible to the average person walking through a home. Staging can cover up major deficiencies and you can’t always rely on disclosure to understand the depths of disrepair.
We’ve outlined the five most expensive issues below to help you better understand what can go wrong with any property and how to spot problems.
A small percentage of foundation claims involve defects in the workmanship, such as the engineering or architectural design specifications of the home. Concrete naturally cracks, and most foundations built more than 40 years ago lack rebaring enforcement to limit cracking. Some older homes have foundations made of unreinforced cinder block, which has a tendency to crack.
When it comes to foundation cracks, size does not matter. Foundation cracks are not, and should never be described to be, “typical”. Do not give in to the temptation to weigh into whether or not a crack is “serious” in nature. Because the majority of foundation damage begins where you cannot see it, it’s not always possible to assess a crack’s severity by eye. Without being an alarmist, you can effectively report foundation cracks and have the home buyer seek further evaluation by a structural engineer.
If roof leaks, overflowing cooling systems, bathroom plumbing leaks, or leaks from any other source have caused visible damage to your home, have the damage repaired.
Repairing the water damage once you’ve fixed the leak can help prevent unnecessary concerns about the home. Your buyers may have enough to worry about, adding a list of unnecessary defects to a home inspection report because you neglected to repair the old water damage sabotages your repairs and invites speculation and anxiety.
You may ask “why would a home inspector write up a dry stain?” Good question. The answer is because a home inspection is a visual only, non-destructive inspection. Inspectors work on evidence and won’t take a seller’s word that a documented water stain was a holdover from a repaired roof leak, for example.
Roofing problems can cover a wide variety of issues, from a missing shingle or two to a totally rotten underlayment. Either way, you’re going to want to bring in a professional of your own.
Your best course of action is to hire your own professional roofer for a second opinion. Remember that home inspectors are not professional roofers! Just because they think something’s seriously wrong with your roof doesn’t mean there is. The home inspector technically works for the buyer; you need a professional in your corner.
Once your roofer gives you the scoop, you have options. You can choose to fix the roof on your own dime, or you can offer the buyer a “credit” for the repairs. You also have the option of ignoring inspection and your roofer’s repair advice but be forewarned that anything you find out during the inspection process becomes a “material fact,” which means you have to reveal it to the next buyer who comes along should your current contract fall through.
A well-built deck will last for decades. But a deck that’s rotting or missing fasteners, or that moves when you walk on it, maybe dangerous. Decks built by inexperienced do-it-yourselfers, not inspected when they were built, or more than 15 years old (building codes were different back then!) are susceptible to serious problems. Every year, people are severely injured, even killed, when decks like these fall down. This has usually happened during parties when the deck was filled with guests
A septic system is designed to last 30-50 (or more) years, but mistreatment can be very expensive, with a new system costing between $20,000 and $50,000. There are different types of septic systems – and they’ve changed over the years. Houses built in previous decades adhered to older building codes, which are now obsolete, and new codes are adopted every few years. If a system fails and is outdated, you may be required to replace the system while adhering to the new codes.
A total home inspection is an absolute must for both home buyers and home sellers. Please contact us today to book your inspection and learn about the home you are looking to purchase. We will get back to you right away. Our team is eager to help you through the home-buying journey in Colorado Springs.