4 Home Inspection Areas Buyers Should Pay Attention to First
Have you fallen in love with the perfect home? Ready to make an offer? Before you do, you need to take a look at the home inspection report. Home inspections can uncover anything from serious repair needs to cosmetic damages. Which is why you need to know which items you should really pay attention to, including the following.
Heating & Cooling Systems
If your home inspector finds issues with a home’s heating or cooling system, you need to think carefully about whether you are willing to cover any needed repairs. For new furnaces, the average cost for installation of a new system can be anywhere from $2,250 to $10,000, and that total can be impacted by a few important factors. For example, what sort of unit will you be replacing the existing furnace with? Gas, electric and geothermal furnaces can all come with varying price tags, so it’s crucial to discuss these differences with contractors. Knowing these price variations can also make it easier to request repairs from sellers, which can be extremely helpful for major home repairs.
Pipes & Major Plumbing Work
If you’re planning on purchasing an older home, in addition to scheduling a standard home inspection you also need to consider a sewer inspection. Most home inspections only cover the pipes and plumbing inside your home, but this additional inspection will make sure there are no leaks, cracks or damages to a home’s sewer line.
In addition to issues with the sewer line, you should also be on the lookout for signs that a property needs major plumbing work. If a home needs all of the pipes replaced or sewer lines replaced, you could be looking at spending thousands in labor costs later on, not to mention the added headache of dealing with securing permits and hiring licensed plumbers. For the latter, fortunately, you can turn to sites like Angi.com, which lists dozens of companies that specialize in plumbing, as well as reviews left by their previous customers.
Major Wiring or Electrical Issues
Just like with plumbing and pipes, any electrical issues on a home inspection should also give buyers pause. Reader’s Digest notes that while minor electrical issues are to be expected, like a broken light switch, and can be overlooked by buyers, any major issues should cause you to either negotiate repairs with the seller or back out of the contract altogether. For example, if you find out that the home needs to be completely rewired, and you do nothing, you could be left with an extremely expensive repair job after you move into your new home.
If you’re lucky, having your home re-wired will cost as little as $1,500, but more complicated projects can be upwards of $20,000 or $30,000. Plus, more complex rewiring projects often involve tearing out walls, which means that you will have to deal with the stress and expense of any resulting repairs as well.
Faulty or Cracked Foundations
Foundation problems also tend to pop up on home inspection reports. Once again, older homes tend to have more foundation issues than newer ones, but either way, it’s important for you to know what can easily be fixed and what should cause you to back out of an offer. The Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky Real Estate Blog notes that, for 99 percent of buyers, issues with the structure or foundation are immediate dealbreakers.
If the only issue is a small crack, you may be able to have it repaired for a few hundred dollars and you may be able to negotiate those repairs with the seller. Now, if there is a more serious problem, such as a need for underpinning due to sinking, or repairs that end up costing tens of thousands of dollars, you will also need to determine whether those costs are reasonable for your budget. If you cannot negotiate repairs with the seller in these cases, U.S. News & World Report suggests it’s usually best to walk away.
Home inspections don’t have to cause you to walk away from your dream home. Just know the costs of taking care of common repairs and know your limits in terms of budget. Then you can make a sound decision.
The Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky Real Estate Blog by realtor Paul Sian provides informative and engaging articles and news on all things real estate. If you are looking for an expert real estate agent in the Greater Cincinnati, Ohio and Northern Kentucky area look no further! (513) 560-8002.