First-Timer Primer: The Red Flags Revealed During a Home Inspection

by Shilpi Paul

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Home inspections are one of the more important aspects of the home buying process, and a thorough inspection may occasionally reveal problems that are severe enough to seriously concern a future owner.

We wanted to run down a few potential inspection findings that should raise serious red flags.

Four years ago, UrbanTurf reached out to Coldwell Banker’s David Bediz for some insight into this question. Following are his laundry list of possible issues:

  • Structural damage (usually determined by noting cracks in plaster, visibly shifted floors, doors, or windows; visibly shifted brick on the exterior, etc.) may require underpinning to the tune of $25,000-250,000
  • Water intrusion and grading problems (usually noted with visible water stains, visible presence or odor of mold or mildew, measurable dampness on walls or floors, evidence of rot, insect damage, etc.) can be especially worrisome because water is very hard to control and a sump pump or other remedy is never guaranteed to resolve the issue
  • Insect infestation or damage (noted by visible trails in joists or floors, weak wooden members or even visible insects) is problematic because preventative treatment may not remedy significant structural damage that may be hidden behind walls or under floors
  • Roof issues (noted by visible water or stains present, visibly old and decaying shingles, visibly rotted rafters etc.) can result in high replacement costs
  • Windows (visibly old and/or non-functional, not double-paned or double-paned but with condensation visible trapped in panes, etc.) can be very expensive to replace (think at least $500 per window, in some cases up to $5000)
  • HVAC issues can also mean thousands of dollars in repairs.

Additionally, here are a few other things to think about when it’s time for the inspection.

  • Check any additions carefully for shoddy workmanship.
  • Faulty electrical wiring is a common cause of house fires, and an undersized electrical system can get stressed with normal usage. Check electrical wiring to the extent possible.
  • Rodent and insect infestations are usually, apart from being disgusting, a sign of significant deterioration, and can be pricey and frustrating to get rid of.

As a final tip, it is worth taking the time to find an experienced, trusted inspector who can spot every detail. Readers, are there any other big red flags that we are overlooking?

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This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/first-timer_primer_what_are_serious_red_flags_during_a_home_inspection/7103

1 Comment

  1. DCRes said at 2:30 pm on Thursday May 23, 2013:

    I think the information provided by this Realtor is very good. However, reading this can scare alot of homebuyers. I think it would be helpful to have this information shared by a licensed home inspector in DC.  He/she could also share common findings in DC homes(given the age of most homes in DC), and give a scope of repair costs.

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