Roof leaks, foundation cracks and water heaters on the brink of failure. They’re enough to give a home buyer anxiety. So, what about good reports that help you rest easier?
Every home has a defect or two. In fact, perfect homes are practically the stuff of myths and legends. Fortunately, not every home inspection reveals issues so bad they’ll make you cringe. Here are 11 signs your home inspector might find that indicate the home might very well be a great investment.
#1: Detailed Appliance Maintenance History
Appliances have a lifespan. With regular maintenance, they stand a better chance of meeting or exceeding it than appliances that are left to their own devices. Evidence of good care, such as a maintenance history sticker on the side of the air conditioning unit, means the seller has done their part to protect vital systems.
#2: Existing Warranties for Major Systems
The roof might look great, but all that it takes is one major storm to cause expensive damage. Any system that’s under warranty is a reason to breathe easier. If no warranty exists, ask the seller to offer a home warranty. According to Angie’s List, the cost is reasonable—usually under $500—and they cover you for about a year after the sale. If the home is in good condition but the seller won’t budge, you could purchase your own warranty after the sale.
#3: Fog-Free Windows that Raise and Lower
Windows are a lot more than the eyes of a home. Fog-free windows probably have their gas seals intact, which means they insulate against hot and cold temperatures better. If they raise and lower properly, chances are the home is sound. Windows that stick could indicate excessive settling that skews the jambs or a lack of maintenance.
#4: Dry Basement or Crawl Space
Most basements and crawl spaces take on moisture once in a while. However, a chronic water problem is a headache that you don’t need. If the area under the house is reasonably dry, the home likely has no major plumbing leaks and water runoff from the roof is probably directed away from the foundation.
#5: Good Soil Grade Around the Foundation
The soil around the house should slope away from the foundation to prevent water infiltration. According to Ask the Builder, the soil should slope about 6 inches within 10 feet of the house. Sometimes, that’s not possible. In those cases, a drain system around the foundation can capture water and carry it away from the house.
#6: Professional, Modern Electrical Work
Just because wiring works and is hazard-free doesn’t mean it’s adequate for modern living. If your inspector finds a modern, well-labeled breaker box, ample independent circuits, GFCI and AFCI protection where they’re indicated, plenty of receptacles and protected outdoor outlets, you’re on the right track.
#7: Plumbing with No Leaks, Drips or Slow Drains
Plumbing defects aren’t as dangerous as electrical issues, but they can be expensive to repair. Longstanding issues lead to even more damage, such as rot and corrosion. If the drains flow freely, there’s no evidence of leaks and no strange odors, chances are the plumbing is in good shape.
#8: Ample Ventilation
You rarely see or think about ventilation, but it can put a serious dent in your wallet. Adequate attic ventilation prevents condensation buildup, soggy insulation, and wood rot. It also helps control your heating and cooling bills year-round. In the basement or crawl space, ventilation helps damp soil dry before mold, mildew, and condensation become a problem.
#9: Flat, Solid Floors
Rare is the home with truly level floors. However, flat floors are possible, even if the home is older. Wavy floors indicate problems with the subfloor, joists or both. Flat floors without any squeaks may indicate a sound investment.
#10: Excellent Insulation
Insulation isn’t just a coat for the house. It’s a dynamic system that needs proper materials and installation techniques. Done well, insulation helps control indoor temperatures and lets the house breathe. If the home has excellent insulation, your utility bills will thank you.
#11: Sound, Unstained Exterior Surfaces
Some homes look pretty but hide lurking problems. Fortunately, exteriors can also reveal good news. Brick with good mortar and siding that’s secure are a good sign. The absence of streaks and stains may show that the roof, flashing and gutters do their job.
Many home buyers hold their breath until the home inspection report comes in. Just remember that not every home has a scary story to tell. Sometimes, the report is one more reason to move ahead to the closing table with a smile on your face.
If you’re ready to take the next step, let Hire an Inspector do the legwork. We’ll find a qualified home inspector near you.