Beware of These Home Inspection Red Flags
June 27, 2016
A home inspection not only allows buyers to learn more about their home, it also helps them uncover any potential problems.
Curbed.com recently featured a 14-point checklist to help home buyers during a home inspection. Here are a few items they suggest to investigate further during a home inspection that will give your buyers more confidence in moving forward.
Read more: Home Inspector or Specialist?
HVAC system. Home inspectors will make sure the home’s heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system is working, and they should also be able to estimate how long the home air conditioning condenser (the outside unit) should last too. They just need to check the serial number, says Nigel Turner with Total Home Inspection Services in West Milford, N.J. Many condensers last 12 to 15 years before needing replacement.
Water drainage. "The biggest issue of any home is always going to be water disbursement," Turner told Curbed.com. "There’s the potential for damage to the foundation. If water is found to be in the vicinity of the house, you want the water to flow away from the house, not towards it." Home inspectors who use an infrared camera may be able to uncover potential water damage that lurks beneath the surface of a home too.
Roof. Learn how old it is and any potential issues, particularly if anything that you may have to one day bring up to code. Roof problems are responsible for 39 percent of home owners insurance claims, according to data from Trulia.
Oil tank. Even if the house is heated with gas, it's still important to check and see if there's an oil tank on the property in case it once was heated by oil. A tank may still be present. Certain areas require the oil tank to be removed. Others may have just been filled with sand and gravel. Make sure you find out and to ensure it hasn’t leaked into the ground. "Make sure we sweep the whole property," Elice Shikama of RE/MAX in Franklin Lakes, N.J., told Curbed.com. "Because sometimes sellers think they only have one. They could have multiple underground tanks."
Chimney. "Chimneys can be a very costly enterprise, if there’s damage to the chimney lining on the inside, if the masonry around the chimney is faulty, corroded, or whatever it might be," Turner says.
See the entire 14-point checklist that Curbed.com offers for home inspections.
Source: “Home Inspections 101: What to Look Out For,” Curbed.com (June 21, 2016)
Updated: October 23, 2020