Homeowners could be sitting in their living room, completely unaware about the numerous property flaws all around them. While not all houses are falling apart, some issues add up over time, without anyone catching on.
That is where a home inspection professional comes into play. A well-trained eye can often make the difference between potential buyers walking into their dream home, or ending up with a house they can't afford after all of the needed repairs. This step is important before anyone considers buying, and it is also a great idea for sellers who are about to list.
Problems that could be hard to spot
Very few sellers are purposely trying to mislead any possible buyers. In some cases, the problems with a home aren't obvious, and very few people can catch on to what is happening. During a property inspection, several areas should warrant extra attention, just to be safe.
For example, one family in Chicago ended up owning a furnace that needed costly repairs on a regular basis, according to MSN Real Estate. They skipped a home inspection, opting instead to trust the word of a family member. When they finally contacted a professional, the problem was obvious - a missing chimney liner. Instead of being cautious and planning ahead, this family ended up wasting significant money on - what ended up being useless - repairs.
In addition, a leaky roof isn't always easy to notice, the news source noted. Some previous owners might have painted over water damage on a ceiling, and kept the cause to themselves. Better yet, home inspection professional Kurt Salomon explained to MSN Real Estate about the time he searched the rafters, only to see a plastic, inflatable pool conveniently placed to catch water from the roof. On a more common level, water damage often gets caught up in the insulation, preventing obvious signs from getting through into the living space.
Floors are another hard-to-spot problem, and a quality property inspection should be able to identify minute details, even if everyone doesn't think anything is going wrong, according to MSN Real Estate. For instance, one home's floor had a spongy feel, and it appeared that the surface had dropped almost four inches, even though it was still level. Mold wreaked havoc on the support beams, leaving almost no support for the entire home.
What people should watch out for
Mold isn't just found in basements and floor joists, however. This hidden hazard could pop up in a variety of locations throughout a property, and it can also often surprise homeowners when it finally surfaces, according to FoxNews.com. Not only can this damage a property, but also the residents' health. Hay fever-like symptoms might appear, and mold could also aggravate a person's asthma.
Another problem that a home inspection could find is a bad foundation, the news source reported. Many times this issue starts with little cracks in the basement walls, but sometimes the source of the problem isn't easily identifiable. This specific problem often prevents a sale, because very few buyers are interested in taking on these repair bills. Therefore, the current owner should try to catch it early, and have anything fixed before the costs add up.
Termite damage is another big problem that could slip right under homeowners' noses. These pests typically end up behind walls and drywall, allowing for an extended period of time for them to damage a property before anyone catches on to the issue. For finding this hazard, as well as many others, a property inspection for both sellers and buyers is an ideal step.