Open house inspections can be equal parts fun, exciting and nerve-wracking, especially if you find yourself falling in love with a property at first sight. However, there will be plenty of time to dote on your home in the future – inspections are all about keeping your eyes open for any signs that your potential new abode might be a major lemon.
Homes may not have voices, but that won’t stop them from trying to tell you something. Here are some of the more serious open inspection red flags to be on the lookout for.
A shaky foundation
It’s often said that a strong foundation is the most important part of whatever’s built atop it, and this can hold true for houses. While costs can vary, cracked foundations are notoriously difficult to fix and can cost homeowners tens of thousands of dollars.
Keep an eye out for cracks on steps and walkways outside. Small cracks may be normal and come with age, but wide, horizontal cracks may be a dead giveaway that the home is falling apart underneath.
Nothing quite compares to the risks associated with water damage. Not only can moisture rot building materials, it can lead to the growth of mould and mildew. In turn, this can lead to serious respiratory problems for people with allergies.
Signs of potential water damage include dank, musty smells, water stains, mould spots and warped walls. While water damage itself can be fixed, even more important is what caused it. After all, a leaky pipe will be much easier to fix than a hole in your roof.
Not only can vermin and insects make your skin crawl, they can also be terribly difficult to get rid of. The damage caused by pests like mice and wood borers can be far-reaching, and the costs associated with eliminating them aren’t cheap.
During an inspection, take time to look around for signs of pest problems. These include dead bugs, animal droppings and mouse holes.
Thinking of selling
The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial or real estate advice. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions.