Home inspections are crucial

When searching for a home and a non-occupied home comes into view, buyers should be extra careful.  Even many lived in houses lack  proper maintenance and a house that has been vacant for some time may be much more of a challenge.

Houses that have been abandoned could have leaking or broken plumbing fixtures, or even cracked water supply pipes. Problems with blocked or damaged galvanized drain pipes happen quite often in older homes.

It’s important to know that there is adequate water pressure and that the drainage is functional or you might be in for a unexpected major  expense. Many times the galvanized pipes in older houses become deteriorated and close up from inside the pipe either restricting the water flow of supply pipes or stopping the drain pipes from effectively functioning. Sometimes the entire plumbing system may have to be replaced.

Foundation cracks may contribute to damp basements and there is always the possibility of termite damage within the framework. If horizontal cracks are noted it is usually caused by poor grading and hydrostatic pressure against the outside wall of the house. With an excessive bending of the foundation wall correction will involve excavation and repairs to the wall itself.

Wall or ceiling stains should always be further evaluated. Not only is it important to determine the cause of the water stains  but there is always the possibility of hidden damage to the framing.  Usually a good home inspector will carry a moisture meter to determine if the stain is active or not. When it comes to any structural damage it is always better to get a few different estimates and several opinions.

Another concern is the electrical system of the house. It there a profusion of  extension cord wires running around the house the electrical sysem may be outdated.  An entire electrical upgrade may be needed. A home inspector should be able to tell you if a new panel and wiring is needed or if additional receptacles will be adequate.

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