A home inspection should catch any and all deal-breakers—right?
Well, not so fast. Most seasoned home inspectors say that certain issues may not reveal themselves during a standard home inspection.
Most buyers are reluctant to pay for a specialized inspection, so to get the most value from a general inspection, there are six home inspection red flags you should look out for. These items can sometimes go undetected, so don’t assume that they aren’t there just because an inspector didn’t notice them.
1. Partially blocked or damaged sewer lines. Inspectors will likely determine the type of drain pipe used, estimate its age, and look for nearby external elements, like tree roots, that could cause damage. Sewer pipe scoping, however, is not generally included in a standard inspection. In certain circumstances, ordering an additional inspection to check for this kind of damage may be advisable.
2. Failing HVAC equipment. These systems may appear fine one day, then completely fail the next. Investigating the condition of these systems may be more expensive than a standard inspection, but catching a problem before it evolves into something worse could save you a lot of stress and money in the long run.
3. A cracked heat exchanger on the HVAC. Having a specialized contractor examine either the exchanger or the entire system will be especially important if the unit is more than a decade old. If a crack is found, the unit must, by law, be replaced.
4. Electrical problems. Standard inspections generally only involve a visual check of such components on a property. However, this is not always sufficient when it comes to electrical issues. If a disconnect in the system is revealed during the general inspection, it is essential for you to hire an electrician to take further action.
5. Structural issues. Home inspectors should know what’s normal and what isn’t, but further evaluation of identified issues will need to fall on the shoulders of a more specialized professional. If there is a problem with a roof, for example, you will need to hire a roofer to understand the extent of the issue and address it accordingly.
6. Leaks. Leaks are often difficult to detect by virtue of how unpredictable they can be. In vacant homes, especially, these issues can easily go overlooked. Carefully checking drains in cabinets, under the sinks, and in the ceilings before your move could save you a significant stress later on.
At the end of the day, being proactive in identifying issues is key. If you’d like us to recommend a licensed inspector to help you with this task, we would be more than happy to do so.
If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.