Most people think a house that has expensive defects will be very obvious to detect, but often the most expensive defects are hidden and take a little more investigating. Here are six signs to look for when inspecting a house...
Roof problems usually take the form of leaks. These can be difficult to spot from the outside. In fact, the surface of a roof may look perfectly sealed. However, if you view the roof from the attic, you may quickly spot watermarks where it is leaking.
A home has two water systems. The first brings fresh water in; the second takes sewage out. Both are vital to your enjoyment of the home, and if either breaks down, repairs can be costly. That's why it's very important that you have a good sense of the condition of the homes water systems before you buy.
In a modern home, having a working electrical system is absolutely essential. You want to have enough power to operate all your appliances plus any tools you have plus your lights, all at the same time. Also...you want to be assured that you aren't going to get a shock -- or worse -- from your wall plugs or light fixtures.
Like the plumbing and electrical systems, the heater and air conditioner are vital to any home -- and they can be expensive to fix if they break down. A thorough home inspection will include an examination of these for problems.
The face a home presents to the world is composed of its exterior material and the paint that goes on top of it. Inside, the walls are usually made of drywall. By carefully examining the paint coat you can often determine not only whether the home needs cosmetic work but also whether there's an underlying problem. When inspecting it's important to take the time to look at both the outside and the inside paint. Check several places on several walls. You can learn a lot with just your eyes and a screwdriver for poking.
The foundation holds up a home. Quite literally, if your home has a bad foundation, it could fall down. More likely, however, a bad foundation means cracks will appear in walls, doors won't close properly and floors will be uneven. This condition could get progressively worse, lasting for decades, before there is any serious threat of the structure itself collapsing. Nevertheless, a bad foundation is a serious problem for any property and must be assessed carefully. It might easily be the reason that a buyer could demand and a seller could agree to a lower price, if not direct corrective work.
There were a lot of poorly made dual pane windows in the 1990's because the window companies were still refining the technology and the manufacturing process. That means there are many homes out there with windows that have broken seals and moisture in between the panes. If the seals break on the dual pane windows and the insulating gas escapes, they are not better than single pane windows from the 1950's. A good inspector will be on the look out for these bad windows.