What are the key things to inspect before buying a house?
The most key things to inspect are also the most expensive to repair. Here’s a short list of some of the most critical things to inspect for:
- Lead paint
- Foundation damage
- HVAC repairs or replacement
- Mold removal and remediation
- Faulty roofing
- Issues with sewer pipes or septic systems
Note that not all of these services are included in standard home inspections. Most home inspectors who offer these services charge additional fees for termite, mold, asbestos, or lead paint testing.
How to avoid buying a money pit?
You’re already taking the first step. Hiring a qualified home inspector is the single best way to avoid buying a “money pit”. If you really want to be sure, you may want to consider hiring an additional inspector, and investing in some more specialized services, such as sewer pipe examinations and termite inspections.
What are the common plumbing issues in homes?
There are a number of common plumbing issues in most homes, but most are not a major cause for concern. This could include dripping faucets, sinks and drains that are clogged and do not drain properly, faulty or failing water heaters, or low water pressure. The most important thing to inspect in a home’s plumbing system is the condition of the pipes. If your pipes and other major water systems are in good shape, fixing more minor issues is usually quite simple.
How long will a modern home last?
Most modern homes built with wooden structural supports and a concrete foundation are expected to last at least 100 years, and could easily reach 200 years. Naturally, this depends on the climate, how each home is cared for during its lifetime, and how well-built the home is. Some homes will, naturally, last longer than others.
What usually needs fixing in a fixer-upper house?
Well, each fixer-upper home is different. Once you have a home inspected, your inspector should be able to give you a list of any major systems – such as plumbing or wiring – that need to be repaired or replaced. Some of the other common systems that may need attention include the HVAC system, the roof, the structure of the home, and the doors and windows. Beyond this, you can fix things based on your personal preferences – re-arranging the kitchen and the bathrooms, for example, or adding new paint, appliances, and fixtures like sinks and toilets. It all depends on the house you’re buying – so make sure you hire a good inspector, and walk through the property a few times, to develop a “game plan”, and make sure you’re prepared for the purchase of a fixer-upper.