Even if you do get a home inspector, look for these things yourself before buying a home. Some home inspectors don’t look for these items. Some never even go into the house. Here is a checklist you should always look over before buying a home.
The number one problem faced by new homeowners is mold. You read about it in the news. Every week I get a call from an attorney gathering info for a lawsuit against a home seller and their real estate agent. the topic is always mold. You can get inexpensive mold test kits online or in home improvement stores.
The number one cause of mold in a home is improperly installed or damaged gutters. They allow water to pour into the walls. Water causes damaging mold to develop inside the walls. Make sure the gutters are level and not bent.
Mud on Walls
This also goes back to gutters. If the gutters are undersized, excess water pours over the edges of the gutters and onto the ground. This splashed mud against the outside walls and the excess water also seeps into the foundation of the house.
These vents are designed to let air flow through crawlspaces. This house may not have a crawlspace, but if it does, check the vents. Do they open and close? Some builders slop concrete on them and they are permanently opened or closed. Potential mold and wood rot problems can result.
A sump pump is there to remove water from your basement. They are critical. If there is a sump pump it needs some water in it anyway. This standing water can lead to mold and termites. Always make sure the sump pump is up to date and working properly.
Do the attic vents work?
Is the attic hot? Just because the attic has vents this doesn’t mean they work. This is often very over-looked and causes headaches when the motors rust or burn a fuse.
If you see build-up on the blocks in the basement it means there is probably long-term water problems. That build-up is minerals deposited over time by drying moisture. Not a good sign!
Water-spots on ceilings
These always hold mold. You only have 48 hours after a leak before mold begins to grow. After that drying won’t help. A LOT of people will paint over water spots, but if you look closely they are easy to spot. Be aware!
By all means, hire a home inspector, but make sure the inspector goes inside the house. This may sound silly, but you’d be surprised how many don’t. Always use precautions when buying a home. Better safe than sorry!