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Common Issues Found in Home Inspections

By Conrad Bastable

A high quality home inspection is an important part of the home buying process, as it helps provide everyone with a clear picture of the condition of the property, its pros and cons, and any major issues that may need to be addressed. Buyers can be comfortable that they are avoiding costs from problems that might arise post-closing, and sellers can be confident that they won't be surprised with sudden problems presented by a buyer at the negotiation table.

No house can be absolutely perfect for everyone. Brand new houses might need slight alterations to appeal to specific buyers. Older houses are likely to need at least a little maintenance due to wear and tear over the years. A home inspection gives you the information to be more certain that the price you pay - or ask for - is a reasonable one. Here are some of the most common issues that come up in home inspections:

  • Roofing - Constantly under the assault of the elements and mostly out of sight of homeowners, roofing is the most common source of problems.
  • Poor Rain Drainage - Rooftop drainage solutions are often blocked with leaves and other trash, putting extra stress on the fixtures and causing water to build up and often leak into the property.
  • Ceiling Stains - A symptom of leaks, past or present, which is quite common in older homes. An inspector can also determine whether or not the leak has been properly fixed.
  • Rotten Wood - Any wood that is in close proximity to water, such as eaves or a bathroom, can begin to rot given enough time and exposure. Not really found in new houses, an inspector will identify rotting wood if it exists.
  • Plumbing - Loose connections, leaky fixtures, noisy pipes, and insufficient drainage are all commonly found issues with the plumbing in homes.
  • Electrical Hazards - Incorrect wiring, exposed sockets, ungrounded connections, and more can all be found in an inspection, and usually show up to some degree in less new homes.
  • Water Heater - Local plumbing code might not always have been followed during the water heater installation, and your inspector will point this out if he comes across it.
  • Gas Furnace - Most homeowners don't perform maintenance on their gas furnaces, so usually a filter could be replaced and some general wear and tear corrections need to be done.
  • Insect or Pest Infestation - Not as common as other issues and specific to location. Depending on the degree of infestation and how long it has been building, necessary repairs can be extensive and expensive.
  • Foundation Stress - Again, not found as often as some of the other problems on this list, this is a very serious issue that can be expensive to fix. Symptoms include major cracks in the base and walls, as well as doors not resting snugly in their frames.
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