11 THINGS TO KNOW SO YOUR HOME PASSES THE HOME INSPECTION
Homebuyers Want to Know Your Home Inside and Out
While homebuyers are as individual as the homes they plan to buy, one thing they share is a desire to ensure that the home they will call their own is as good beneath the surface as it appears to be.Will the roof end up leaking? Is the wiring up-to-date and safe? What about the plumbing?
According to industry experts, there are at least 33 physical problems that will come under scrutiny during a home inspection. We’ve identified the 11 most common of these and, if not identified and dealt with, any of these 11 items could cost you dearly in terms of repair. In most cases, you can make a reasonable pre-inspection yourself if you know what you are looking for and that can help you prevent little problems from growing into costly and unmanageable ones.
1. Defective Plumbing…. Defective plumbing can manifest itself in two different ways: leaking, and clogging. A visual inspection can detect leaking, and an inspector will gauge water pressure by turning on all faucets in the highest bathroom and then flushing the toilet. If you hear the sound of running water, it indicates that the pipes are undersized. If the water appears dirty when first turned on at the faucet, this is a good indication that the pipes are rusting, which can result in severe water quality problems. Galvanized water delivery pipes are an issue with many insurance companies.
2. Damp or Wet Basement… An inspector will check your walls for a powdery white mineral deposit a few centimeters off the floor and will look to see if you feel secure enough to store things right on the basement floor. A mildew odour is almost impossible to eliminate and an inspector will certainly be conscious of it. It could cost $400-$1,000 to seal a crack in or around your basement foundation depending on severity and location. Adding a sump pump and pit could cost $750-$1,000 and complete waterproofing could cost $5,000 - $15,000. You have to weigh these costs when calculating the price you want to net on your home.
3. Inadequate Wiring & Electrical Service… Your home should have a minimum of 100-ampere service and this should be clearly marked. Wire should be copper or aluminum. Home Inspectors will look at octopus plugs as indicative of an inadequate number of circuits servicing the home and as a potential fire hazard. Many insurance companies are now requiring that services be upgraded to 100 amps before agreeing to insure the home. It could cost $1,000- $1,500 to install a new panel and upgrade the service. It’s becoming more difficult to insure homes with knob and tube wiring.
4. Poor Heating & Cooling Systems…Insufficient insulation and an inadequate or poorly functioning heating system are the most common causes of poor heating. While an adequately clean furnace without rust on the heat exchanger usually has life left in it, an inspector will be asking and checking to see if the furnace and air conditioning are over their typical life span of 15-25 years. For a forced air gas system, a heat exchanger will come under particular scrutiny since one that is cracked can emit deadly carbon monoxide into the home. These heat exchangers must be replaced if damaged as they cannot be repaired. It would be to your advantage to have your furnace, air conditioner and other associated equipment inspected and serviced before you put your home on the market.
5. Roofing Problems… Water leakage through the roof can occur for a variety of reasons such as physical deterioration of the asphalt shingles (e.g. curling or splitting) or mechanical damage from a windstorm. When gutters leak and downspouts allow water to run down and through the exterior walls, this external problem becomes a major internal one.
6. Damp Attic Spaces… Aside from basement dampness, problems with ventilation, insulation and vapour barriers can cause water, moisture, mold and mildew to form in the attic. This can lead to premature wear of the roof, structure and building materials. The cost to fix this damage could easily run over $2,500.
7. Rotting Wood… This can occur in many places (door or window frames, trim, siding, decks and fences). The building inspector will sometimes probe the wood to see if this is present – especially when wood has been freshly painted.
8. Masonry Work… Re-bricking can be costly, but, left unattended, these repairs can cause problems with water and moisture penetration into the home that in turn could lead to a chimney being clogged by fallen bricks or even a chimney that falls onto the roof. It can be costly to rebuild a chimney or to have it re-pointed.
9. Unsafe or Over-fused Electrical Circuit… A fire hazard is created when more amperage is drawn on the circuit than was intended. 15 amp circuits are the most common in a typical home, with larger service for large appliances such as stoves and dryers. It can cost several hundred dollars to replace you fuse panel or to added additional circuits.
10. Structural or Foundation Problems…
An inspector will certainly investigate the underlying footing and foundation of your home as structural integrity is fundamental to your home.
11. Adequate Security Features… More than a purchased security system, an inspector will look for the basic safety features that will protect your home such as proper locks on window and patio doors, dead bolts on the doors, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every level of the home. Even though pricing will vary, these components will add to your costs. Before purchasing or installing, you should check with local experts.
When you put your home on the market, you don’t want any unpleasant surprises that could cost you the sale of your home. By having an understanding of these eleven problem areas as you walk through your home, you’ll be arming yourself against future disappointment.
Are you thinking of a move?
We can provide you with a free an accurate assessment of the value of your home
Hot New Listings
Would you like to receive automatic, free and immediate notification of the newest MLS listings in London Ontario’s real estate market that Match Your Home Buying Criteria?
It's easy to get started...
Just fill out the form below and click the SUBMIT button at the bottom of the form.