The 10 Most Common Home Inspection Items

Posted: Mar 30, 2015 by ecoREsource Properties

The home inspection is a critical element of every home purchase and buyers are well advised to hire a professional for the task. The inspection findings can make or break the transaction. Is it onward to a smooth closing or back to the drawing board for all concerned?

Whether you're selling or buying, here are the most common code violations that home inspectors run into on the job:

1. Faulty Roofing - Roof damage or defects caused by aging or bad installation are among the most common findings that home inspectors discover during their inspection. Roof issues don’t necessarily mean that the roof needs to be replaced; often times, it simply means that repair and maintenance may be overdue.

2. Ceiling Water Damage - Does the house have any unsightly ceiling stains? These are common, and they indicate past or current leaks. The home inspector must determine if the leak was repaired, or if it will happen again. Sometimes, it's difficult to determine.

3. Electrical Issues - The majority of homes have electrical safety violations; they can run from just having a few to many (i.e. ungrounded outlets, lack of shock protection, improperly installed wiring improvements, and many others). Your home inspector will know about the electrical system as well as the city, county, and state codes that impact them. Your home may have met the electrical codes that were in place at the time it was built, but codes are being updated frequently, and your home may in fact be dangerous if the electrical system is out of compliance.

4. Faulty Drainage - Faulty ground drainage can cause substantial damage to a home. Poor drainage can cause water to sneak beneath your home and cause damage to the integrity of the home. This is another problem that is difficult to solve but can be resolved properly by seeking out qualified professionals who are experts in drainage systems.

5.Wood Rot - Rotted wood is pervasive when home components remain wet for long periods of time. Common outside locations for wood rot are the home's trim, eaves, and decks. Rotted wood is also commonly found on walls and floors in bathrooms.

6. Additions/Alterations - Code violations can often be found when homeowner's remodel without a permit.

7. Fireplace Issues - Both fireplaces and chimneys are areas of concern that can be unsafe. Home inspectors often run into issues with hardware and fixtures, exterior rust damage or the simple deferred maintenance of not calling in a chimney sweep on a consistent basis.

8. Plumbing - Plumbing defects can run rampant. Loose toilets, dripping faucets, slow and/or leaking drains are just some of the things commonly found.

9. Water Heaters - Water heaters are another household item that can easily violate codes. Violations include inadequate strapping, substandard overflow piping, unsafe flue conditions, and bad gas lines.

10. Mold/Radon - Want to know what two of the biggest killers are in real estate transactions? Mold and Radon. Prior to getting your home inspection done, you should make sure you have neither one of these issues. If you are concerned that you may have mold in your home, hire a qualified mold expert to come out and test for it. Radon is a gas found beneath the ground that can enter your home through cracks in the floor. Radon testing is becoming more and more common and radon mitigation is also quite possible.

There are plenty of things you can do to prepare for a home inspection. It may seem fairly obvious that your home should be in tip-top shape beforehand, but many maintenance issues are often overlooked until the inspection date arrives. The inspection can be the cause of your home not selling, and can definitely cause the home selling process to fall apart even when you make it to escrow.

As a Seller - Be sure to eliminate any known defects present in your home before you list your house to accomplish a smooth & successful closing.

As a Buyer - Hiring a professional to do a thorough home inspection will provide you some peace of mind. Additionally, you may get the opportunity to have the seller make necessary repairs before you finish the purchase of your new home.