When you buy a home, you buy everything that comes along with it—including all the potentially unseen imperfections. While a home inspection is a necessary part of any sale, these inspections don’t cover every tiny detail. In fact, a recent property inspection report states, “This property inspection is not a technically exhaustive inspection of the structure, systems or components. This inspection may not reveal all deficiencies.” Therefore, it’s up to the buyer to spot any hidden issues, and bring them to light—before the sale goes through.
Here’s a list of the hidden things to look for when inspecting a home:
Survey the property
Beyond the interior or exterior facets of the actual house itself, there could be a number of issues in the yard or property that could cause future headaches. This is an area not usually covered by a home inspection and it’s up to you to uncover any potential problems. This includes fences, outbuildings, guest houses, susceptibility to flooding or other natural disasters, outdoor pipes, septic tanks or wells.
Check out the roof
While a home inspector will most likely observe the state that the roof is in, it’s highly unlikely they will climb up there and see what’s going on. Before scheduling an inspection, ask how the inspector plans on evaluating the roof. They might be willing to give it a closer look or you might need to have a third party come in and give their opinion.
Look for mold or mildew
Since mold and mildew thrive in dark, damp, and hidden away places—like crawlspaces, cracks in the grout, and cabinets under the sink—it’s sometimes hard to spot these nuisances before it’s too late. Be sure to check for signs of mold, or have a mold inspector come out to see if they can find traces of it in the home.
Inspect the plumbing
From the kitchen to the bathroom, mud room to the wash room, you’ll want to check under cabinets and carefully inspect any pipes. Look for signs of water damage or leaks. Also, run the water in all the sinks—does the color look off? Is there a strong order coming from the pipes? Take note of anything unusual and seek a professional opinion on anything you have questions about.
Evaluate the wiring
Faulty wiring can lead to a myriad of problems—from lights that won’t work to potential fire starters. Test all appliances and light fixtures and keep an eye out for any loose, frayed, or charred wires inside or outside of the house.
Examine the foundation
This isn’t just about looking for large cracks in the foundation (although that is something you do need to keep an eye out for). You should also check for termite damage, mold, crumbling, and other issues. A bad foundation could lead to a home getting condemned so we recommend calling in an expert to give it a good, thorough look.
Test out all the doors, windows and cabinetry
Let’s say it’s your first day living in your new home. You want to air everything out but you discover three windows won’t open, a closet door fell right off the hinges (or doesn’t close properly) and the cabinets in the bathroom are warped shut. These might be signs of larger issues that need to be discovered before buying the home so be sure to check everything.
Buying a home is a major life decision for many and we want to make sure our clients are happy with the home they’ve purchased from the moment they move in. If you’re looking for more tips on what to look for when inspecting a home, contact us today.