Buying a home is one of the most exciting things we do in our lives.
Whether it’s with your family, by yourself, for the first time, or the fifth time, it can be a real emotional roller coaster. But all the benefits of owning a home makes it worth it.
When you feel like you’ve found the right house, it’s impossible not to get emotionally attached. We all do it!
But those houses don’t always work out. It seems heartbreaking at the time but you must be wary of home inspection deal breakers!
These deal breakers are the “no-gos” of the housing market. They will cost you so much time, money, and heartache, you might regret buying the house altogether!
Usually, when one thing doesn’t work out, however, it just means something better is around the corner!
Read on for our extensive list of home inspection deal breakers you need to avoid!
What Are Home Inspection Deal Breakers?
Home inspection deal breakers are red flag issues found by licensed inspectors. These issues are either too costly, too irreparable, or too time-consuming to fix.
Some people will embrace inspection deal breakers because it saves them tons of money up front on the house. However, it can often come back to bite them.
Home inspection deal breakers are like icebergs. You often only see what’s on the surface, and the surface only represents a fraction of the problem.
1. The Home Has Water Damage
Water damage is a common deal breaker in the real estate world. Often, the appearance of water damage in a single area is a sign there’s more to be found.
Water damage is caused by several factors, although many of them are relatively inexpensive to fix.
Incorrectly installed water pipes may have loose fittings or not enough sealant. Additionally, clogged pipes will cause water to back up and sit in areas not designed to hold water.
Clogged toilets will also overflow, possibly soaking into floorboards and baseboards.
If left unchecked, leaky and clogged pipes can do a whole lot of damage.
Negative drainage means your landscape at the foundation of the house slope down toward it, rather than away from it.
This causes precipitation to flow toward the foundation and eventually soak through, causing foundation damage and basement flooding.
Negative drainage causes mold, damage to drywall and floorboards, and more.
A damaged roof can cause moisture from rain, sleet, and snow to trickle down into the attic and roof structure. This can cause mold and rot.
Malfunctioning appliances such as hot water heaters, dishwashers, and washers can dump gallons of water a minute into a home. The massive amount of rogue water can get into everything, causing long-term damage.
2. The Home Has a Pest Infestation
A home infested with pests of any kind is most often a home inspection deal breaker. On multiple fronts, pests can cause damage and health hazards, not to mention massive amounts of waste.
Termites are incredibly damaging to properties. In fact, they cost Americans $5 billion dollars each year, each owner paying roughly $3,300.
Rodents invade nearly one-third of all homes in America. Mice reproduce very quickly, a single female can produce 12 offspring every 3 weeks.
Cockroaches are another common household pest. They like dark warm places and can survive off of just about anything. The thing about them surviving a nuclear explosion is not entirely inaccurate.
3. The Home Has Mold
One of the reasons water damage can be a home inspection deal breaker is because it often leads to mold.
Mold not only smells and looks bad, but it can also be a major health concern. Everyone knows about black mold, but there are four other types of mold commonly found in homes. All five kinds cause mild to severe health issues, from asthma attacks and respiratory infections to depression.
Mold is incredibly quick to grow and incredibly difficult to get rid of. It grows in moist, warm places, often flourishing in dark areas.
Mold removal may cost $500 to $6000 dollars depending on the extent of the damage.
4. Lead Paint
Lead paint is mostly a thing of the past. It was banned in 1978 when people started understanding how lead-poisoning effects the human body.
Lead poisoning symptoms involve damage to the central nervous system, leading to seizures, and in the worst scenarios, death.
While homes built after 1978 no longer use lead paint, old homes are likely to have it.
Homeowners can fix this situation with encapsulation, removal, or enclosure.
5. Aluminum Wiring
Not long before lead paint was banned, contractors were also using aluminum wires instead of copper to wire homes.
Aluminum was much cheaper to use back then, but unfortunately, a lot less reliable. Aluminum is more susceptible to heat. It expands and contracts, leading to potential loose wires and even electrical fires.
There are some quick fixes such as adding copper to the outlets, however, quick fixes generally serve to slow down a problem, rather than eradicate it.
6. The Home is in a Flood Zone
The ramifications of water and mold damaged have already covered, however, a home in a flood zone is an immediate and resounding home inspection deal breaker.
Not to beat a dead horse, but buying a home in an area where you are nearly guaranteed to have water damage and flooding is a definite “no go.” Additionally, your insurance will be much higher.
7. The Home Has Major Foundation Issues
Foundation problems are a big red flag when home shopping. They represent some of the most costly repairs a home can endure. If caught early, it’s salvageable for a relatively low cost.
However, a foundation that is moving, sinking, or raising can cost you upwards of 4,5, or ever 6 figures. As the foundation shifts, it causes damages throughout the entire home. A shifting foundation is a home inspection deal breaker, no exceptions.
8. The Roof is in Bad Shape
Depending on your lender, you may not even be allowed to buy a home with a roof that needs to be replaced. However, if they will, it may be a good leverage point to get a better deal on the home.
However, make sure you know what you’re getting into, as a roof replacement can cost $5,000 to $25,000. Don’t pay the asking price for a home if the sellers aren’t willing to replace the roof themselves.
If they won’t drop the price or replace the roof, consider it a home inspection deal breaker!
9. There Are Obvious DIY Repairs and Renovations
Homeowners like to do their own renovations, God bless them.
While some of them turn out astonishing and well-done, a large percent of them are done poorly, and even unsafely. Obvious DIY projects from the previous owner on plumbing, electrical, structural, or foundational systems are precarious.
Often, DIYers don’t pull the necessary permits to do their projects. This can lead to future problems for you.
Permitless work can indicate things were not done properly or to code. It can also void your home insurance in the event of an incident related to the work.
There are better ways to save time and money when buying a home, avoid critical DIY projects!
10. The Plumbing System is Past Its Prime
It seems like most of these home inspection deal breakers lead back to water damage. However, a simple water leak can cost you thousands of dollars, so bear with us.
An out-dated or declining plumbing system can fail on multiple levels, again, leading to water damage and mold.
If you’re looking at buying an older home, it would be a good idea to have a licensed plumber come out to inspect your pipes. It will be a nominal fee, but totally worth it for peace of mind and perhaps, disaster prevention.
11. The Electrical System is a Fire Hazard
In the U.S., 51,000 homes catch fire each year due to electrical problems. When buying a home, have a licensed electrician inspect your electrical system before you move in, especially in older homes.
Older homes are less likely to be grounded. They also often don’t have a large enough capacity to run all of our modern-day electronics, especially all at the same time.
Better safe than sorry!
Depending on state laws, radon testing is either a special request the potential buyer pays extra for or a necessity.
Radon is a potentially harmful odorless gas with radioactive properties. It’s formed by the breakdown of radioactive substances in the earth such as uranium.
Unfortunately, however, radon doesn’t stay within the earth’s crust, it rises up through the soil and into the air. It even penetrates the concrete flooring in homes. Additionally, radon is detected in wells, rivers, lakes, and in various soils.
Homeowners with high radon levels are at risk of breathing it in and damaging their DNA.
The minimum level of radon allowed in homes varies from state to state and country to country.
Buying the Right House
When you do find the right house (hopefully without any home inspection deal breakers), getting the right lending agency is vital. They will be with you for the long haul.
The Tammi Lindley Team has multiple lending options specific to your needs!
We will work with you to find the best fit. Just contact us to apply and we’ll get the ball rolling!