Buying a new home is exciting, and it’s almost too easy to just jump in and fall in love with a home. Inspecting it carefully, however, is crucial. All too often, a home that looks amazing might turn out to be a money pit once it’s inspected a little bit more closely. Those who are ready to buy a home will want to have an inspection done before falling in love with the home. Before an inspection, they can also look out for these red flags.
Damaged or Older Roof
The roof is easy to see from the outside, and major damage can typically be spotted from the ground. The average roof only lasts around 15-20 years in Oklahoma, so it’s important to make sure it’s not only in good condition but not reaching the end of its lifespan, either. If the roof is in poor condition, leaks can lead to water damage inside the home, mold, and other issues that may be hidden at first but will become worse with time.
Issues With the Chimney
Homes with a chimney should be inspected carefully to make sure the chimney is up to code. If it’s not, it’s going to be very expensive to correct. An inspection of the chimney can determine if there are cracks, build-up or blockages, or other issues that can cause further issues in the future.
If the foundation of the home isn’t solid, there are going to be structural issues either now or in the future. If there are any issues with the foundation, it’s going to be very expensive to fix. No homes are perfect, but if the foundation shows signs of damage, such as cracking, it’s best to have the foundation evaluated by a licensed structural engineer so that you know the proper repairs that will be needed.
Structural problems can be caused by foundation issues, water damage, poor construction, and more. If there are issues like load-bearing walls that are damaged or rotting wood, the house is going to need a significant amount of work to be safe to live in. A home inspection with a licensed structural engineer is the best way to determine if there are structural issues and, if so, how severe they are.
Leaks and Water Damage
Even if the roof is new, if there were leaks recently, there could be water damage inside the home. If water appears anywhere that it shouldn’t, it’s likely there is a leak or water damage. Look out for discoloration on walls, rotting wood, mold, and other issues. While roof leaks aren’t the only cause of water damage, if there is any water damage in the home, it needs to be evaluated to find the source.
Mold or Mildew
Mold can be cleaned up in many cases, but if there is a significant amount or if it cannot be removed simply by cleaning, it’s going to be costly to repair. The areas with the mold may need to be removed and replaced, and the underlying cause of the mold or mildew will need to be determined. The root cause will need to be fixed before the house may be safe to live in, as failing to do this may lead to the mold coming back again.
Old Electrical Wiring
While it’s not possible to look in the walls while taking a look at the home, if the home was built before the 1960s, it may have the older knob and tube wiring. This type of wiring will have outlets that look different from modern ones, so it can be easy to spot in some instances. If the home has this type of electricity or there are other issues with the electricity like faulty wiring, it may need to be rewired to be safe to use, which is often costly.
Like with electricity, it’s not possible to look inside the walls at the plumbing, which is where most problems will be. However, buyers can inspect the plumbing they can see, such as the pipes under the sink, and look out for water-related issues such as low water pressure, discolored water, sputtering faucets, or signs of mold and mildew. Any of these can be a sign that there is a major issue with the plumbing in the home.
Check out the home after it rains or while snow is melting to see how it is graded. In some cases, the grading may be obvious even when the weather is sunny. If water is pooling close to the home or the ground is sloped toward the home, it’s going to cause water to be stuck near the foundation, which can turn into major foundation damage that will be expensive to correct.
It’s not always possible to determine if asbestos was used in a home. If the home was constructed before 1980, to determine if there is asbestos testing will be required by a licensed professional . If so, depending on where the asbestos is and the condition, abatement may be needed, which can be expensive, as exposure to asbestos is extremely hazardous, especially if the exposure is over time.
Signs of Pests
Keep an eye out for pests during any walk-through of a home. Termites, especially, can cause significant damage to the home that can be expensive to repair, especially if the damage ends up being structural. Look for any signs of pests and listed for sounds to make sure there is not a pest problem inside the home.
Buying a home is exciting, but it’s important to take the time to inspect the home carefully before buying to make sure there aren’t any major issues that will need to be corrected. Always make sure you hire a home inspector after you find a home you like, so they can go through and look for these and other red flags. In the long run, this could save you thousands of dollars in repairs, and you’ll be able to find a home that’s going to be perfect for you without major repairs to worry about before you can move in.