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Why Home Inspection Really Matters

Apr 12, 2017 3 min read C. Schroeder

Key Takeaways

  • Unseen moisture buildup could raze your roof.
  • A cracked foundation can mean a real-lfe house of cards.
  • DIYers who mess with wiring may be in for a shock..

 

Would you purchase a home if you knew the current homeowner was storing flammable liquid solvents inside the electric control panel? That's exactly what Brooklyn home inspector Lawrence Ubell of Accurate Building Inspectors found when conducting a home inspection. While this type of frightening faux pas is easily remedied, just imagine what other problems could be lurking thanks to the carelessness of this type of homeowner.

 

 

If left untreated, common home inspection finds can spell disaster for your real estate dreams and bank account. Without an emergency fund in place, homeowners can be financially ruined by costly home repairs. A qualified home inspector can catch signs of trouble early and warn potential home buyers of expensive repairs that lie ahead. If you are considering purchasing a home in the near future without a building inspection, consider whether some of these common home inspection finds might be hidden just beneath the surface.

 

Termite infestation

Termite infestations aren't just found in old homes. From New York and New Jersey to California and Arizona, termites can cause significant damage if left undiscovered and untreated. According to pest control experts Orkin, homeowners spend an average of $3,000 to remedy termite damage. When you factor that type of repair bill against the cost of a pre-purchase home inspection, you realize just how much of a bargain an inspection is.

 

Roof leaks

Even though a roof looks fine at first glance, problems could be hiding out just beneath the surface, literally. Roofers who used the wrong types of nails could have penetrated the roof's waterproof membrane and left puncture holes in the attic ceiling. Moisture build-up in an enclosed space like an attic is a recipe for mold growth. Imagine facing the costs of mold remediation and a roof repair, knowing you could have saved yourself those expensive repairs if only you had hired a home inspector.

 

Foundation cracks

One of the most expensive repairs a homeowner can face is foundation cracks. From moisture seeping into a basement to uneven floors, a cracked foundation can be disastrous. If the crack is significant enough, upper floors can shift as a building settles. Foundation repairs can include everything from outside trench digging and crack filling to waterproof membrane repair and support beam restructuring. Without an emergency fund to draw on, those types of hefty repairs can decimate a homeowner's finances.

 

Improper wiring

In today's DIY-crazed home renovation boom, inspectors are finding questionable wiring with increasing frequency. Weekend warriors who think watching a YouTube video on kitchen or bathroom wiring qualifies them to make electrical upgrades are causing major damage without even knowing it. Concealed behind the walls could be anything from overloaded circuits to incorrectly grounded electrical outlets. A qualified home inspector can remove electrical outlet covers to see if wiring is up to code and can spot signs of trouble like improperly installed lighting fixtures or electrical receptacles near water sources.

 

What you can do next

From incorrectly installed exterior decks to disastrous drain lines and insulation errors, a home can be one mistake away from a house of horrors. If you're the the market to buy, put a professional inspection on your to-do list — and start putting away emergency funds to deal with whatever the inspector finds.

 

C. Schroeder is a freelance business writer who specializes in real estate, entrepreneurship, and business development.

 

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