If it’s too good to be true…You know how the saying ends. It applies to home prices just as much as anything. It also emphasizes the importance of a thorough home inspection, above and beyond what’s required by a lender. If a home seems like an unrealistically good deal, it probably is.
Most home inspections cover the basics. On the outside of the home, they will check gutters and downspouts, roof, chimney, siding, trim, doors, windows, storm windows, foundation, landscaping, driveways, patios, decks, porches, and the air conditioning compressor. Inside the home, inspectors will look at the heating, plumbing, and electrical systems, as well as walls, floors, ceilings, windows, the attic, and the basement. This inspection should catch the vast majority of potential problems in a home.
But if you found an amazing deal on a house, and the standard home inspection didn’t turn up any problems, it’s probably worth it to pay a few hundred bucks extra for some additional inspections.
Mold: If you’re an allergy sufferer, you know all too well how mold can affect your health. Mold issues are typically not reported on a standard home inspection because there is not a standard to identify how much mold is unsafe. High levels of mold are often found in homes that have been flooded or have had leaky plumbing, and mold remediation can be difficult and expensive.
Well/Septic: Well water and septic systems are common in rural homes, but they’re rarely a part of the standard home inspection. Since these systems are hidden deep underground, it takes a specialized inspector to find potential problems. For the same reason, repairs can easily reach five figures.
Pest: We all know the damage a termite infestation can do to your home, but this is another item that’s not frequently checked during inspection. Termites can damage the structure of your home. Caught early, the pests can be addressed before the colony grows and causes serious damage. When ignored, the results are dangerous and costly.
Use common sense when looking at a home and evaluating the price. Every once in a while, a great deal comes along. Just make sure you’re getting that great deal and not great big mess.