Buying a new home is one of the biggest decisions you will make in a lifetime. Aside from being a rather large financial investment (understatement alert), your home is the place where you’ll plant your roots, build a life, make memories... Finding your dream home after searching and touring and spending your weekends at open houses is a glorious moment. Offer made? Offer accepted? High fives all around, you’re almost there.
Now it’s time for the home inspection. Time to wring hands and sweat bullets? Not at all… Red Cedar frequently works with Bill Bitz from Discover It Home Inspections to ensure that you know the house you’re buying inside and out, to teach you what to look for, and to let you know when to walk away. Sometimes the scary-sounding problems are actually easily fixed, while issues that ought to be deal-breakers are overlooked if your inspector is not careful. Together with Discover It, we’re here to help you parse out the big problems from the minor issues so that you can stay calm and informed as you traverse the homestretch.
According to Bill:
There is a high likelihood that vermiculite is contaminated with asbestos, which is a known human carcinogen. Removal has to be handled by trained and certified professionals.
Horizontal settlement cracks
Vertical cracks are the more common of foundation issues, and are usually the result of foundation settling. Horizontal cracks, however, are worse than vertical cracks, and can occur when poor drainage creates soil and/or hydrostatic pressure on the house. These cracks require immediate professional inspection and repair.
Aluminum will generally become defective faster than copper due to inferior qualities within the metal. A potential fire hazard can occur if neglected connections in outlets, switches, and fixtures cause aluminum wiring to overheat. Complete and permanent repairs—a total rewire or a copalum crimp—are expensive to-do’s.
Cracked or separated caulk is unsightly to homebuyers, and it can cause leaks if a seal is compromised. While caulking issues are not something to ignore, they are also not showstoppers. They are not expensive projects for professionals, and can also be an easily picked-up DIY skill.
An unruly landscape does not make for great curb appeal, but the “diamond in the rough” is an expression for a reason. If gardening is not your thing, there are plenty of budget-friendly landscaping companies who can get your jungle tamed in no time. Make sure that shrubs are pruned away from the foundation and windows of your home, and that there are no branches hanging on your roof or your gutters.
Missing or loose hand-railings
This is an instantly noticeable issue, and it is one not to be ignored for safety reasons, as well as adhering to building codes. It is wise to use it as a signifier, and look around carefully for other instances of subpar craftsmanship. However, as a standalone item it is unrelated to the integrity of the rest of your home, and to have it repaired will not break the bank.
A gas leak sounds scary, but your house isn’t going to turn into a Ridley Scott inferno. Small gas leaks are quite common, especially for older houses, and are easy for a plumber to fix.
Long story short, we’re here to help you discover the issues, if there are any, and guide you through your decision-making process. Stay calm, listen and learn about your home so that you will know the difference between molehills and Everest, at buying time and through the years.