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The Commonwealth Blog

Monday, March 20, 2017

4 Common Home Problems to Identify Before the Inspection

It’s a home seller’s worst nightmare—you get the perfect offer and think everything is in alignment for you to buy your next home, and then the home inspection hits. There’s faulty wiring, mold in the basement, a leaky roof, maybe even flaws in the foundation. The buyer backs out of the contract until you fix the problems, and you might not even have the money to do so. So how can you avoid these problems before putting your house on the market, or at least before the inspection?

Here are four of the most common problems that come up during a home inspection and what you can do to avoid them:

Shoddy, Outdated Wiring

One of the most common issues is electrical wiring, which can be out of date or over-fused and dangerous. Bad electrical can be hazardous as it can lead to a fire, for you or your future buyer. Make sure your wiring is up to code by hiring an electrician to inspect it before selling your home. Have your electrician check for ungrounded fixtures, spliced wires, backward receptacles, and even improper breakers.

A Leaky Roof

If you’ve been living in your house for a while, you may have an older roof and may not notice smaller leaks. But left unattended, roof leaks can become significant problems, especially when mold starts to form. A small leak can become bigger and ruin your roof.

Have an ASHI-certified inspector check out important home maintenance items in your house periodically. While homes don’t work like cars with a “check engine” light, with regular maintenance, you can prevent serious damage.

Basement Seepage

The most common problem found in homes is basement seepage, where water slowly leaks into the basement through small cracks or the foundation floor. Go into your basement frequently to check for water and hire a waterproofing contractor to repair minor problems before they turn into full-fledged flooding.

Amateur Workmanship and Poor Maintenance

Whether you or a previous owner attempted it, many homeowners decide to do major work around the house without using qualified contractors. This negligence can lead to problems in all areas of the home, including plumbing, flooring, and electricity. If you did any work without the aid of a qualified professional—or know of work that was done before purchasing the house-- have a professional double-check the job. This step could save you money before the home inspector spots the trouble.

Likewise, not performing key maintenance in your home will also hurt you in the long run. Keep things like dryer vents, water heaters, caulking, A/C systems, kitchen appliances, and other key home systems updated and well-maintained. This upkeep can prevent costly repairs or replacements at closing. When it comes time to sell, make sure your home is problem-free before the inspection. If you need major repairs to have the home sell, it can lengthen the closing process and take money out of your pocket. By being aware of issues in your home and taking care of maintenance, you can avoid snags in your home inspection and sell your home faster and more easily.

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