So, you’re a first-time homebuyer, and you’re nervous. You’ve sent out the home inspector to a potential property, and you’ve crossed your fingers that nothing will be wrong. Still, you want to be careful, so you’ve listed seven common repairs needed after home inspections.
What’s on that list, and what kind of budget should you have to fix any house issues? If the wiring is out of date, how much can you negotiate down to make repairs easier?
Well, to start with, your list begins at appliances.
1. Fixing Non-Working Appliances
This one is common in flipped houses. Along with a subway tile backsplash and stick-on, scratch-resistant fake wood floors, a flipper will usually put a new dishwasher or stove where it needs to go without bothering to install it or check that it’s working.
They’ll place the burden of purchase or installation and troubleshooting on you, the home buyer.
Common appliances to watch out for are the stove hood, the stove, the dishwasher, the microwave (if you have a built-in), and the garbage disposal. These often make the “what not to fix when selling a house” list.
Come prepared to pay for replacements or professional installations if the inspector finds any fishy appliances.
The average price of an appliance can vary, so be sure to check with your local appliance store.
2. Roof damage
If you’ve ever lived in a house, then you understand the importance of a good roof (duh). An old roof will let out heat, let in water, and allow mold and mildew to enter your home.
Roofs can also get damaged during storms, so your inspector should be up on the top of the house to get the best possible view.
A roof can cost anywhere from $2,000-$10,000, so it’s essential to know about it upfront. Unfortunately, this is also one of the most common repairs needed when selling a house (or when buying one). This repair will also increase home value substantially.
3. Be Wary of Septic Problems
Nothing makes a day crappier than a lousy septic system.
There are many ways a tank or plumbing can go wrong. Your pipes can burst from old age, blockages can build up, joints can leak, and tanks can go out of code. Each of these issues has the potential to cost you a lot of money in repairs.
Your inspector will check for broken, rusted, or corroded pipes. They will also look for water damage around sinks, faucets, and bathtubs or showers. You should file these warning signs away as well for when you go to inspect the house yourself.
Finally, the inspector should check that the correct pipes are used. After all, you don’t want to use lines filled with lead.
Possible costs associated with these inspections include pipe replacements, shifting the existing septic tank further from the house, and mold or mildew removal. Depending on the damage, these costs can range from a few hundred to a few thousand.
4. Damage to the home’s structure
Structural damage to your home is the difference between a house that can be a home and a house that would be better off as kindling.
Your inspector will look for cracks in the foundation, leaning walls, and collapsing soil underneath the foundation. If your new house turns out to suffer from structural faults, you might want to reconsider the purchase. This repair can easily exceed $10,000.
5. Sniffing Out Electrical and Fire Hazards
Electrical hazards and fire hazards go hand in hand, so you should consider both at the same time.
Your home inspector will look through the house to make sure that everything is in line. The home inspector will most likely be looking for flickering lights, strange light switches, and outlets that heat up more than they should.
If the inspector turns up some worrying things, they’ll most likely have an electrician on speed dial. Asking for recommendations if the inspector doesn’t is also a reasonable request after a home inspection.
Because improper electrical insulation and wiring can spark fires quickly, this is a critical step to take.
We would also recommend that you hire an electrician regardless to make sure that the home is safe.
An electrician will do a thorough check to make sure that wires are connected safely, your outlets are correctly grounded, circuit breakers are set up correctly, and that nothing has been modified in a way that could be concerning.
6. Ensure You Have Good Airflow/HVAC
Having good airflow is more about saving on energy bills than it is about anything else. If your house has terrible airflow, then certain rooms will be cold while others will get too hot, and your heating and cooling system won’t be able to balance itself out—leading to higher bills.
Your inspector should also look at fire alarms and sprinklers just in case your HVAC runs a little TOO hot as well.
An improperly balances system can cost thousands to replace.
7. Watch Out for Popcorn Ceilings, Lead, and Radon
Ever wondered why popcorn ceilings went out of vogue? Maybe why your old house had a pipe venting up out of the basement? Well, popcorn ceilings contain asbestos, and that pipe is venting radon—both things can kill you.
So, your inspector will almost certainly be on the lookout for these problems. You should ask for these to be seller repairs before closing on the house.
If your new home has asbestos, then you’ll have to pay for a specialty crew to remove it from your ceiling. Sometimes, your local fire department will be able to recommend a good asbestos removal service. If you don’t remove asbestos from your ceilings, you run the risk of lung damage, cancer, and mesothelioma.
Your inspector will most likely flag radon as a risk if your basement is unventilated. Radon is released from concrete as it ages, so this inspection is essential for houses that have been around for a while. A new ventilation system will probably run you several hundred dollars. While radon won’t kill you immediately, it does increase your chances of lung cancer.
Finally, your inspector will look for lead paint. Lead was a common pigment in household paints for the vibrant yellows you can create. So, if you have yellow, green, or orange walls in your house, then you’ll want to repaint before you move in to prevent brain damage. This repair is relatively easy to do DIY, but you’ll still need to spend several hundred to get the job done correctly.
Did These Common Repairs Needed After Home Inspections Make it Onto Your List?
No matter if you’re a home buyer or a seller, you’re going to want to look out for these common ailments. They will tank the value of your home.
We hope that this list was helpful for you and your home search. We wish you the best of luck!
Want more tips like this list of common repairs needed after home inspections? Don’t hesitate to read more of our articles!