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|Passing the Home Inspection – What
Buyers Are Looking For
|When you put your home up for sale you place it directly under
the scrutiny of buyers. Superficial changes, such as new paint and
resurfaced floors can do a lot to enhance your home's appeal, but
when it comes to an offer, most serious buyers will seek the
assistance of a professional home inspector to ensure that the house
is sound beneath the surface.
During most home inspections there are over forty problem areas that
will be examined for correct function and condition. It is important
that you are aware of what areas buyers will examine, and what you
can do to ensure that these are in proper working order. In most
cases you'll be able to conduct a reasonable inspection yourself, if
you know what to look for. This report will elaborate on some of the
more important home inspection points, and will include information
Home Inspection areas and what to look for
How to make sure your home is as good beneath the surface as it is
|Selling your home can be a difficult job, especially since
you're competing against hundreds of other properties. It's
important that you ensure that your home is in top condition, and
doing a pre-inspection in anticipation of buyers doing the same is
extremely important. Below are some areas that you should inspect:
|Plumbing is of high priority when it comes to home inspections.
Defective plumbing is classified in three ways namely leaking,
clogging, and corrosion. A visual inspection will detect leaks and
corrosion on pipes. Turning on all faucets in the highest bathroom
and then flushing the toilet can gauge water pressure. The sound of
water flowing through your pipes often indicates that the pipes are
undersized. Additionally, if water coming from the pipes is dirty or
contains debris, then the pipes are most likely rusting. The home
inspector will evaluate all of these.
|Damp or Wet Basement
|The basement or crawl space is often the most revealing area in
the building and usually provides a general picture of how the
An inspector will check your walls for a powdery white mineral
deposit a few inches off the floor, and will look to see if things
you store right on your basement floor have suffered any
moisture-related damage. Mildew odours are also a red flag for home
inspectors. Difficult to eliminate, and indicative of other
problems, an inspector will certainly be conscious of them.
Depending on severity and location it could cost you between $400
and $1,100 to seal a crack in your basement foundation. Another
option is to add a sump pump and pit, which could cost around
$750-$1,000. Finally complete waterproofing of an average 3-bedroom
home could cost between $5,000 and $15,000. It's important to factor
these costs into the calculation of what you want to net on the sale
of you home.
|Damp Attic Spaces
|Just as detrimental to a home seller as basement dampness are
mould and mildew problems in the attic. Improper ventilation,
insulation and vapor barriers can cause water and moisture to
accumulate in the attic. This moisture and associated mould and
mildew can lead to premature wear of the roof, structure and
building materials. Oftentimes costs associated with fixing this
damage can be in excess of $2,500.
|The major problem associated with roofing problems is leakage,
which can occur for a variety of reasons. Physical deterioration of
asphalt shingles, mechanical damage from a windstorm or ice build-up
as a result of poor drainage are all common causes of roofing
issues. Leaky gutters and downspouts can also damage siding and
exterior walls. Remember that it is only a matter of time before
external damage becomes an internal problem.
|Rotting wood, an issue particularly prevalent in older homes,
can occur in many places such as door or window frames, trim,
siding, decks and fences. Building inspectors will oftentimes probe
the wood to check its integrity – and are particularly skeptical of
woodwork that has been freshly painted.
|Brickwork commonly succumbs to water damage, minor ground and
foundation settling and a host of other time-related changes.
Redoing brickwork can be expensive, but when left unattended can
sag, warp or even collapse. It's particularly important to inspect
your chimney for signs of moisture damage and structural integrity
as problems in this area can lead to falling bricks and collapsing
|Inadequate Wiring and Electrical
|Inadequate wiring can occur in many forms. Home inspectors will
look at octopus plugs and extension cables as indications of
inadequate circuits and potential fire hazards. Also your home
should have a minimum of 100 amps service, and this should be
clearly marked. All wiring should be copper or aluminum.
|Unsafe or Over Fused Electrical
|Unsafe electrical conditions are created when more amperage is
drawn from a circuit than is intended. 15 Amp circuits are the most
common in typical homes, although larger circuits are used for
appliances such as stoves and dryers.
Older homes will also contain fuse panels rather than circuit
breakers. Replacing a fuse panel with a circuit panel can often cost
hundreds of dollars, but will be a factor that the home inspector
|Poor Heating and Cooling Systems
|A home inspector will scrutinize heating and cooling systems for
efficiency and performance.
Insufficient insulation, and an inadequate or poorly functioning
heating system, are the most common causes of poor heating. A home
inspector will check the age of your furnace to see if it exceeds
the typical life span of 15-25 years. Additionally, in a forced air
gas system, the inspector will place the heat exchanger under
particular scrutiny examining for cracks and damage as a potential
source of carbon monoxide in your home. If the heat exchanger is
damaged it must be replaced as it cannot be repaired.
Cooling systems are of equal importance. A home inspector will
examine your air conditioning unit to evaluate size, installation,
noisiness, dehumidification and cooling ability. A home inspector
will pay particular attention to the exterior compressor/condenser
units to make sure they are free of debris and have sufficient room
in which to operate.
|Adequate Security Features
|A home inspector will examine your home for proper locks on
windows and patio doors, dead bolts on the doors, smoke and even
carbon monoxide detectors in every bedroom and on every level.
Installing these components can add to your costs, but will
demonstrate an adherence to basic security standards in your home. A
purchased security system will also be examined.
|An inspector will most definitely examine the underlying footing
and foundation of your home. A cracked foundation or unstable
footing can cost thousands in your home's value.