The word inspection usually brings about stress in most people. It is no different in the real estate market. While on the path to buying or selling a home, you will eventually find yourself dealing with the home inspection process. Preparing for some of the most common defects will help inspection be efficient and not cumbersome.
What Is A Home Inspection?
A home inspection is a non-invasive examination of the house to be sold. The home inspection is conducted by a trained inspector to determine if there are any defects in the home. The inspector prepares a report they then give to the client. The report includes the condition of the building and the life expectancy of the systems and components.
The client can then make more informed decisions about the property they are about to purchase. The buyer will have a detailed report of the property’s structures, fixtures, and design. This way the client will know about any damages and the overall integrity of the building.
The home inspection can sometimes be confused with the home appraisal. They are two separate things. The appraisal is when an appraiser determines the value of the house. The inspector is looking into the structural integrity of the property.
A home inspection is something you want to go smoothly and not come up with any surprises. You don’t want to hear that the house you’re buying or selling has damage you weren’t aware of. All deficiencies should be listed on the seller’s disclosure.
Before the home inspection, the buyer and seller will go over a form called the seller’s disclosure. This form will list all of the known flaws of the house that could affect the home’s value. This is part of the escrow process.
Signing this form gives the buyer protection so they can see all imperfections before they buy. The seller provides a Transfer Disclosure Statement to the buyer for all purchases. The form asks specifically what defects and malfunctions the seller knows about on the property.
Things that are typically listed include deaths in the home, neighborhood annoyances, repairs, and missing items. Other things may be included as well. The seller needs to know that all defects must be listed.
Why You Should Look For Flaws
It may seem counterintuitive to look for issues in the house you are about to sell or buy, but it can save you a lot of money in the long run. On average a home inspection saves homeowners about $14,000. The inspector is trained to find things you might not notice in the home.
A repair that could be an easy fix now may end up costing a lot of stress, money, and time later. Here are things that typically fail home inspections. Be on the lookout for these defects so you can avoid the potential headache of having them surprise you later.
Problems With The Foundation
The home inspector will look for problems with the foundation of the building. They will be checking for cracks, water-wicking, and check for shifts in the foundation. Homes built on clay deposits usually shift which could crack the foundation.
There can be many issues with foundations. Intrusive tree roots, missing rebar, earthquakes, and landslides can all cause shifts in the foundation. Other problems such as drainage and settling can crack the foundation. Be sure to investigate any complications with the foundation of the house as this will affect the inspection.
It’s always disgusting to open that loaf of bread and find green mold all over it. The same goes for houses. It is not just black mold you need to watch out for. Any type of mold can lead to respiratory problems, headaches, and more.
Anywhere there are signs of leaks or water-soaked materials has the potential to grow mold. Mold is not always apparent. It does not always have a musty smell and it is not always in plain view. Be on the lookout for those leaks and any spots mold could be hiding in.
The inspector is also going to look at the exposed wood. They will be looking for mold and termite damage mostly. They will also be checking for wood rot caused by age and water. Additionally, they’ll check things such as exterior doors, windows, and decks.
The lawn around the home should have a slight slope that allows for water to drain away from it. Most houses start with these slopes graded properly, but with time the foundation of the house can shift, allowing water to drain towards the house and not away from it.
This is the perfect recipe for water damage. It can create cracks, create damp areas which can harbor mold, and even cause the foundation to shift further. Be sure to not just check the house itself but also the yard around the house as well.
One of the most common issues that cause inspections to fail is plumbing. Sometimes these issues are small easy fixes like leaky faucets or slow drains. Although, they can be larger problems like contamination of the house’s water or a need to replace the pipes.
A hidden leak is an issue since it can lead to other issues such as foundation problems or mold. The inspector will check all the pipes in the house to spot any potential complications. Keep an eye on the plumbing of the house to avoid having major problems late in the process.
Before 1981, houses were likely to be built with materials that contained asbestos. Asbestos is a fibrous mineral crystal that can be released into the air through abrasion. This is a dangerous material and can cause many health issues such as lung cancer and mesothelioma.
The inspector will look for areas with asbestos that may have been disturbed. They will look at the insulation to see if it has led to asbestos being released into the atmosphere. They will also check to see if flooring material containing carcinogens has been disturbed. Know if your house has materials that contain asbestos and look for areas these materials have been broken in.
Be Prepared for Your Real Estate Inspection
Now that you know what to expect from a home inspection, there are a few things you can do to prepare for the process. Clean the house so the inspector doesn’t expect other areas of the house are not properly maintained. Change all the lightbulbs. When an inspector sees a bulb is out they will suspect there may be a problem with the wiring. Also, make sure to take care of any bug infestations. Ants are typical in a kitchen and are not a huge issue, but they can turn buyers off to the house.
If the inspection went poorly, a buyer may renegotiate terms of the purchase or even back out of the purchase transaction altogether. The inspection’s purpose is to find any unknown issues so you can make an informed decision about buying. If the inspection is paid for by the buyer, should the seller be present at home inspection? No. They may impede the work the inspector is doing for you.
Home inspections can be a taxing affair. Be on the lookout for the common issues with the inspection. Make sure the inspection is thorough. You may not want the inspector to find problems but it is better to know about them before buying.
Sellers Can Now Get Protected
Selling a house can be a very stressful process. It doesn’t have to be when you select the right escrow company. For over a decade, New Venture Escrow has been the leading provider of escrow services throughout the Southern California region.
New Venture Escrow is proud to provide our industry leading Seller’s Protection Policy. Sellers of owner-occupied residences can now get protected for up to $125,000 with this policy against unforeseen disclosure violations. The policy is good for 180 days after close of escrow and can be extended for an additional 180 days for $200. The best part is that there is no cost to have this policy in place! Reach out to New Venture Escrow today for more information! We look forward to supporting you.