Home Inspections

Screen Shot 2013-06-06 at 8.30.01 AMIf you’ve recently stumbled upon your dream home, you may feel tempted to rush into the purchasing process. As any good real estate agent will tell you, a thorough home inspection must be completed before you close on your new residence. If the inspector finds a number of problems, you can either ask the seller to pay for the repairs, make the repairs yourself after purchase, or remove yourself from the deal altogether.

So, what are some of the things you’ll want to keep in mind?

Termites
In many cases, wood-boring insects can quietly damage the structural foundation of a home. Because infestations usually begin underneath floorboards and behind walls, the insects can do quite a bit of damage without the property owners knowing. Inspectors will be able to examine the home for signs of infestations. In some cases, the repair work and eradication can be quite expensive.

Radon
Because radon is a colorless and odorless gas, it can only be detected with calibrated devices, but the radioactive element can be deadly in large quantities. If radon is detected in basement areas, experts can use high-tech ventilation techniques to remove the offending gas. All homes, particularly homes that are located on uranium-rich rock formations, should be professionally tested before they are bought.
Septic Tanks
Septic tanks that are not functioning properly can lead to messy problems down the road. Inspectors will usually use dye tests to ensure that the tank is working as it should. Septic tanks that have malfunctioned in the past will almost always need to be pumped dry and visually inspected. Experts will usually test pipe seals, outlet baffles, and sludge levels.

Heating and Cooling Units
Heating and cooling systems are crucial for homes, but can lead to major problems if they fall into disrepair. If the furnace is losing functionality, you can expect the repair costs to be high. Likewise, air conditioning systems with obstructions or contaminations can cause water damage to the interior of the house. Inspectors will examine condensate pumps, gravity flow lines, and other component parts to make sure all is well. Archaic systems may be untenable and will likely need to be overhauled.

Plumbing
Finally, a home inspection will ensure that there are no outstanding problems with the plumbing system. Pipes may be leaking, or even in danger of bursting. If significant problems are found, you might ask the seller to install new pipes before you buy the house. Rusty pipes should be replaced with durable copper ones.

In the end, home inspections are a crucial part of the home-buying process. Once you are sure that the underbelly of the house is in decent condition, you can make an offer and close the deal. May the home you purchase truly be the home of your dreams!

Maya Rodgers is a mother, pet lover, and termite treatment consultant. She currently has a thirteen-year-old yellow lab, two sometimes-well-behaved children, and a house that is termite-free! She can be found at http://www.petsandpests.com.

 

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