🔎 Home Inspections - What to Expect
It is a common theme to see a buyer get nervous and worried during a home inspection. The home inspector keeps making notes and picking apart the home in fine detail. There may be outlets that aren't properly grounded, slow drainage issues, missing attic insulation, or even termites (very common, however no seller ever thinks they have them... but they often do.) We wanted to break down this topic to show home buyers and sellers that although there may be a lot of items listed on a home inspection report, they are all quite common issues and often nothing that can't be fixed.
Here is a list of the most common items we have seen on a home inspection report in South Jersey:
• Missing shingles or improper roof flashing - As long as there isn't extensive water damage to the sheathing (wood) under the shingles, then these items are a simple fix
• Cracks in cement - This is a tough item to ask for in a repair request because an offer is made based on the visible condition of a home. Meaning, if you see cement cracks in the pavement/walk-ways (not structural cracks in the foundation) then you should make your offer with the cement cracks in mind, not with the expectation having them repaired by the seller unless required by the township.
• Draining issues or improper grading - Important to have these issues taking care of as soon as possible in order to avoid any water infiltration or foundation issues. Water needs to be able to drain away from the home, not towards it.
• Septic issues - It is common to see septic inspections fail, especially for what are known as chamber systems. Always do a septic inspection and do not panic if something comes up on the report. Review your options, see what needs to be repaired, and go from there. Buyers and Sellers often come to agreements when both sides remain calm during negotiations. Deals really only fall apart in these situations when one party overreacts.
• Termites and other wood boring insects - To the surprise of many, termites and wood boring insects are extremely common to find on a home. Whether it be signs of old termite tubes in the garage, active tubes on the exterior walls, termites/carpenter bees on wooden decks or beams, or in sheds and even attics. We will list this in the interior section of this article as well, because termites in the basement are quite common as well.
• Missing GFCI outlets and open junction boxes - One of the most common items on a home inspection report. These are special outlets that are required when being placed around water (i.e. in the kitchen, garage, and bathrooms) to protect from possible shocks and fires. The open junction boxes are necessary to repair but very easy to do so and only require a plastic cover.
• Slow drainage - This is often due to clogged drains either from hair or other reasons. It is more a concern if there is slow drainage throughout the entire house versus just one drain such as a shower drain.
• Broken window balances - The component of the window that helps hold the window open or closed and assists with opening/closing. Basically, this is the spring/pulley systems that keeps a window open. When it is broken, the window is unable to keep itself up.
• Leaks around toilets or sinks - Often caused by old wax O-rings or seals. Easy fix and nothing to worry about as long as there is no water damage and depending on the size of the leak and how long it has been going on for.
• Radon - Every house has radon as it a naturally occurring gas from the ground that can't seen or smelt. However some homes have it worse than others and at high levels it can people at risk of lung cancer. Levels over 4 pCi/L need to be mitigated either by airing out the home/basement or adding in a radon mitigation system. For more information on radon, please visit: https://sosradon.org/faq
• Missing anti-tip bracket - This is a bracket used to secure an oven against the wall or to the ground, in order to prevent the oven from tipping over on a person or child.
For more information on what to expect on a home inspection report or for any other real estate related questions, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!