It’s April so it must be Home Inspection month. If you are thinking about buying a new home for retirement this is a good time to get acquainted with the basic items to look for when buying a home. This is particularly true in this era of short sales and foreclosures, where preventative maintenance probably wasn’t kept up with. Editor’s note: We have to confess we felt a little superior when we saw this topic in a headline. But guess what – most of these concerns hadn’t even occurred to us.
The folks from Housemasters have provided a list of their top 6 home inspection tips. Follow the link to BuildingonLine to get the full details:
1. Too many extension cords. When you see this you are looking at a home that probably doesn’t meet today’s electrical codes.
2. Low water pressure or gurgling. Chances are there is a plumbing problem with the pipes, and it probably won’t be cheap to fix.
3. Horizontal foundation cracks. Hydrostatic water pressure from below is probably the culprit. Excavation and expensive repairs might be needed.
4. Musty smell in basement. If you see belongings stacked off of the floor and there is a musty smell, the basement probably takes on water. Sometimes fixing this problem can be simple.
5. Wall or ceiling stains. Moisture is the culprit and you need professional assistance determining the cause and remedy
6. Vacancy. Particularly in the southern U.S., any vacant home is likely to have mold. Remediation can be expensive. Broken water pipes in the north could lead to mold there.
Topretirements would like to add a few other concerns to Housemaster’s excellent list:
1. Rodent infestations. Mice can live in the walls if they have access (usually where pipes go through the foundation or other gaps). Getting rid of their smell and allergens is a pain.
2. Contaminants like asbestos and radon. Requires professional remediation.
3. Bugs. Termites and powder post beetles cause serious problems.
4. Sagging floors and walls. Something is amiss structurally.
5. Outdated HVAC systems. To avoid throwing away energy you will need to upgrade.
All this said, there is no substitute for a home inspection by a competent professional. Every time we have used one, we were glad to find out the flaws that never occurred to us. And with new homes sitting on the market longer, the inspection is still a good idea even on a brand new house.