Are you a buyer looking for a home? Are you out there shopping for a home with a particular budget with a market that has a small inventory? I have put together home inspector tips for house hunters, this guide will give you an idea of some major issues to look for. This will hopefully help you from choosing the wrong house and in the end, having to have multiple home inspections that will cost you money.
I am not saying that you and your Realtor should start to do your own home inspections. This will help keep an eye out for some of the major costs that might go overlooked. People get in love with a home. This happens all the time and I end up being the guy with all the bad news!
This is a big one for costs if the system decided to go. Heating systems do not last forever but they should last a good amount of time. A few things to look for to give you an idea of the overall condition.
Appearance of the boiler
Does the boiler look like this…
Or like this…
Now a boiler can be old and still be running. The difference is the first boiler more than likely is at the end of its life and will need work or replacing in the near future. In the 2nd boiler you have a good chance that you will not need anything done for a long time.
Simple step just looks to see if there are any tags. Boilers should be serviced every year! If the homeowner is taking the steps to maintain his boiler that is a good sign that he is keeping up with other parts of the home.
These simple visual steps when you are looking at a home start to give you an idea of what you might be in store for. Your home inspector will look more into detail but the first picture is a thousand words!
This can be a major cost! It can be hard to know for sure of the condition without doing a thorough inspection that your home inspector will do. But when it is as obvious as you will see in the pictures you will know that a replacement is needed in the near future.
Appearance of the Roof
Does the roof look like this…
Or like this…
When you’re at the home I don’t expect that you will have a ladder but some ranch homes you can see from the ground. You can also take your phone that takes great pictures and take a pic and zoom in to see if the roof shows damage. Sometimes windows on the second floor will look down to family rooms or a farmer porch. This will give you a closer visual.
Things to look for
- Worn shingles- shingles should have all the granule left and not worn down to just tar showing.
- Missing shingles- if they are falling off or breaking off most likely the whole roof needs replacement.
- Curling or cupping- this is a sign of old shingle or shingle with a defect.
- Moss and lichen- a roof that is covered most likely will have damage to the shingle.
This can be a major electrical cost if the home has wiring with no ground. Homes that still have electrical that is not grounded most likely have a lack of upgrades and maintenance to the home.
If you see this…
The outlet is missing the 3rd hole so it does not have a ground. This means to upgrade to the ground you will need to run new wiring and that means high costs because now you will damage the walls to add new wiring.
If you see this…
This type of wiring is called a knob and tube. If the home has this then the electrical is really outdated and there can be some major costs to get it up to standards. A lot of insurance companies will not give a homeowner policy on such a home. It is a major concern for electrical fires.
So if you look at some of these things it will give an idea of what you might be getting into before you hire a home inspector!
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