Huge Deal-Breakers for Homebuyers and Great Advice for Future Buyers
Many future home buyers found the perfect home, right in the middle of that amazing up-and-coming or established neighborhood you love. You’ve found a great lender you want to work with, and you can already smell that rose garden you want to plant in your brand-new backyard.
Unfortunately, with the way real estate is sold, Buyers are making the biggest investment of their life without truly knowing a lot about current condition of the house, therefore they get a home inspection AFTER making an offer on the house. During the Buyer's home inspection deficiencies are almost always discovered and sometimes repairs of the deficiencies cannot be negotiated with the home owner. When repairs are not negotiated, sometimes the Buyer will walk away from the house deal and consequently will have just wasted money on the home inspection, appraisal, well and septic inspection, environmental testing, etc. 2-3K can be spent on the home buying process and it is terrible for buyers when the deal falls through.
What do you do?
It is almost a given that a home inspector will find some issues with a house for sale, and many you can live with — literally. But there are some huge deal-breakers to watch for, some of which may require savvy renegotiating skills about the asking price, requesting the repairs be made before you buy, or even just walking away from the sale entirely. Here is our list of too-big-to-ignore deal-breakers that you have to be aware of before you even consider calling that house your home, and you should be aware of some of these things before you even sign the offer contract on the house.
1. A bad foundation
Small cracks in the walls of older homes are common, but big, gaping fractures in the concrete or basement are definitely red flags. It means the house is shifting from its foundation or sinking into the ground due to poor soil conditions or because water isn’t draining the way it should be. Horizontal cracks and bowing walls are major concerns which can be easily spotted, but some other things to look out for are cracks in upstairs walls, cracks above windows or doors, and doors and windows that won’t shut properly. It is also vital to look for moisture staining on walls, floors, and trim as those stains can be signs of foundation leaks.
2. Poor electrical wiring
There’re all sorts of wiring and electrical issues that should give you pause before signing a contract on the dotted line. Exposed wiring is definitely a no-no, but finding a fire hazard as serious as this is pretty rare. What you should really be concerned about is aluminum wiring, which was widely used in houses built during the 1960s. Aluminum expands and contracts with heat, causing connections to loosen and pose as a fire risk. Another issue to watch for is knob-and-tube wiring. Knob-and-tube wiring is common in homes built before 1930s. Certain electrical panels like Federal Pacific Panels with Stab-Lok breakers are known to be defective electrical panels. These panels or wires will require repairs and, in many cases, a complete replacement of the entire electrical system.
Termites are responsible for billions of dollars’ worth of property damage every single year, and homeowner insurance companies rarely covers the cost of repairs. Plus, you’ll need to hire an exterminator to eliminate the infestation of wood destroying insects, which usually costs several thousand dollars. This issue may not be a total deal-breaker, but it should prompt you to renegotiate the asking price or request for remedy.
4. Roof damage
A good roof can last 25 to 30 years, but a bad roof might need to be replaced sooner or even immediately. If you’re house-hunting keep an eye out for shingles that are curling, cracked, or even missing all together. Also, be wary of a roof that sag, dip, or is covered in moss or algae.
We all know that there are types of mold that are bad and can pose a health hazard to residents. Mold growth occurs when there are moisture problems such as foundation leaks, plumbing leaks, roof leaks, and high humidity in the home, basement or attic. When looking around look for moisture staining and look for staining which could be consistent with mold growth. If mold is suspected, then you need to absolutely get testing performed to confirm its presence in your future home. If mold is confirmed, then it is recommended mold remediation professionals be contacted to perform all mold remediation work with warranties or guarantees.
We all know asbestos is bad, but easy to fix when it’s contained in the roofing felt or sealant. What you need to worry about is whether the home inspector finds crumbling asbestos insulation around the pipes. This can pose a serious health risk and will need to be replaced immediately. Sometimes Asbestos can be found in certain types of flooring, insulation, and exterior wall coverings in an older home. Understanding what these asbestos containing materials can prove to be very educational for you.
Hire Lancaster Property Inspections to do a home inspection.
Educate yourself as much as possible about houses and remember to look for those deal breakers mentioned above.
Dan Edwards / Lancaster Property Inspections Message me now!