Four Ways a Home Inspection Can Save You a Ton of Money
Four Ways an Austin home Inspection Can Save You a Ton of Money
If you’re like many people navigating the housing market, you’ve seen your share of the good, the bad, and the ugly when scrutinizing potential candidates for your dream home. So when you finally view a property that meets everything on your “must have” list, there can be a tendency to prematurely proclaim, “Done deal! Where do we sign?”
Our advice: Take off the rose-colored glasses and call an experienced home inspection company. A comprehensive, 500-point third-party visual examination of the home’s major systems will give you a complete picture of what you’re getting into, without your emotions getting in the way.
With a detailed inspection report in hand, you can make decisions with confidence and avoid unwanted surprises before you mount the family “Home Sweet Home” cross-stitch above the mantle. Here are four areas (there are many more) that demand the expertise of a certified home inspector:
Roof: Roof repairs can put a significant dent in a homeowner’s wallet, while a new roof—depending on the material used and complexity—can end up costing many thousands of dollars. With this in mind, your inspector will assess the roof’s age, condition, and if immediate repairs or replacement is necessary. Missing or damaged shingles (loosened, buckled, curled, etc.), inadequate chimney flashing, and other problems will be noted. Further, an inspection of the attic may reveal water stains on walls and wood supports, evidence of roof leakage.
Plumbing System: To the untrained eye, a plumbing system may appear to be working fine. But don’t trust your instincts alone when water—a home’s worst enemy—is at work. A burst pipe that causes significant flooding can bring astronomical restoration costs, or, in worst cases, leave the home uninhabitable.
Your inspector will check interior water supplies and distribution systems; interior drain, waste, and vent systems; water heating equipment; and other plumbing concerns. The home inspector will also report on the type of interior plumbing materials (e.g., older galvanized pipes can release harmful lead as they erode), water heating materials, and location of main water and fuel shut-off valves.
Sewer: Damaged and clogged sewer lines can nail homeowners with unpleasant surprises: backed-up water and raw sewage in the home, a significant rise in sewer bills due to a leak in the main line, and budget-busting repair and replacement costs. Even without digging, an inspector can identify signs of sewer line issues. These include standing water in the yard, sunken grass or lush patches, backed-up water from a toilet or drain, slow drains with gurgling noises, and sewer gas odors.
While not part of the main home inspection, some companies, like A-Pro, offer a “sewer scope” service. This entails inspecting the main line by inserting a small camera to check for tree roots, hairline cracks, holes, pipe separation, pooling water, heavy grease buildup, and corrosion deposits (scaling) in cast-iron pipes.
Electrical System: Faulty or outdated electrical wiring poses a double threat—thousands of dollars in replacement costs and a severe shock and fire hazard. Often in older homes, the inspector will find amateurish and inconsistent wiring, or dangerous knob and tube wiring that should be replaced.
Among other things, your home inspector will visually check the service drop; service grounding; service main disconnects; service entrance conductors, cables, and raceways; the many components inside the service panel; the quality of workmanship inside the service panel and subpanels; overcurrent protection devices; lighting fixtures, switches, and receptacles; and ground fault circuit interrupters and arc fault circuit interrupters.
The above represents only a small part of an A-Pro 500-point home inspection.