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A Game of I Spy: 6 Problems to Look For During a Home Inspection

When it’s time to have the home you’re thinking about purchasing inspected, you can’t be too careful. Sure, hiring the right person to do the job is important, but knowing a little bit yourself is also useful. There are a several problems to watch out for before pulling out your checkbook and buying a new home. All of these should be discussed and remedied prior to moving in.

Faulty Electrical Wiring
A good home inspection includes testing the electrical system. Bad wiring can cause all kinds of home hazards, from appliance failure to fires. While some wiring problems can be a fairly simple fix, a total electrical rewiring job for an older home with an outdated system can be very expensive, so make sure to be aware of this before the contract period.

Dampness and Mold 
If a home inspection reveals dampness and excessive mold around the home, it is often a red flag pointing to problems with ventilation or plumbing that can cost thousands to remediate. Mold is an unhealthy environment, particularly if you live in a humid climate. Checking for leaks in the plumbing as well as problematic vents and windows are all important during the inspection process.

Poor Outdoor Drainage and Flooding 
Flooding seems to be on everyone’s mind lately; flood insurance is expensive and folks typically want the truth about a property’s likelihood to flood. Check for signs of flooding - such as an unusually soggy ground, wet basements and crawl spaces or areas where structure is rotted - and make sure to ask about the home’s flooding history.

Flaws in the Foundation 
We’ve all heard the term “good bones” when it comes to a house, but what are the signs that a house’s bones aren’t so great? Signs such as uneven floors, cracks on the home’s exterior, doors that do not close properly and a foundation that seems to be “sinking” all point to flaws in the home’s structure and should absolutely be addressed.

Problems with Heating and Cooling
Don’t be stuck with a home that has heating and cooling problems - check for them during your inspection. Ask the seller for utility bill information and for information regarding the age and model of the HVAC unit. Don’t forget to check for standing water in places it shouldn’t be and unusually loud ductwork - all of these might signal a faulty system.

Issues with the Roof 
Because a roof is not the easiest part of the home to see, buyers tend to under-estimate its importance. However, a roof is one of the most crucial aspects of your new home; its function and durability will keep it in good shape. That said, the inspection should include a thorough roof evaluation, and signs that a roof needs replacing should not be ignored. These can include water spots on walls and ceilings, missing shingles, a damp attic and much more.