If you have just spent the past several months trying to find the “perfect” house and dealing with the mortgage application process, then the only thing life is the house inspection. Time to breathe a sigh of relief, right? Not so fast, the average home inspection can uncover a number of expensive problems with the house, but it is unlikely to find everything. But there are several expensive issues the inspector is not likely to find.
1. A Smoker Lived Here
By the time the house is full-staged and ready to be shown, the only things you are likely to smell are cleaning chemicals and perhaps new paint. These are all excellent at masking the smell of cigarettes that manages to work its way into the carpets, vents, walls, and virtually every inch of the house. The chemical smells will typically last long enough to hide the smell of cigarettes just long enough for the saleto close. The inspector won’t catch these smells; you are going to have to put your nose to work to find them.
2. Unstable Ground
The inspector will look for cracks in the foundation or basement walls, but these are easy to hide. But he won’t check to see if the ground under the house is unstable. You will have to hire a geologist to determine this. A ground inspection might cost $100.00 or more, but if the houseyou are looking at is on a hillside or in a flood zone, it will be money well-spent.
3. The Roof Isn’t as Good as It Looks
If the home is a single or two-story unit, the inspector will likely go up on the roof to look it over. But there are more than two stories, or the weather is inclement, chances are good he will justgive it a quick once-overfrom the ground. Meaning the only thing he is likely to see is missing tiles or serious damage. He also will not look at de-icing systems or TV/radio antennas and satellite dishes.
4. The Swimming Pool
There are so many liabilities involved in inspecting a pool that most house inspectors opt to give the pool a miss. If you are lucky, he may turn on the pump and heater to see if they work. But he will not look for cracks or damage to the pool or any signs of leaks. For this, your best bet is to hire a professional pool inspector who knows exactly what he is looking for.
5. The Septic System
If the home you are interested in has a septic tank,you must call in a specialist to make sure your septic system is in good shape. Keep in mind that repairs to this type of septic system can be costly, making the cost of a proper inspection more than worthwhile.
6. The Chimney
Most inspectors will look at the overall condition of the chimney and check the dampers for operation. But they will not look down the chimney for soot and creosote buildups that could prove to be a majorfire hazard. Be sure you have the chimney professionally inspected and cleaned to make sure it’s safe.
7. The Walls Are Toxic
While the walls may not have ears, it is quite possible that the walls of your new home are full of toxins such as asbestos or lead along with various pests, mold, and mildew. Home inspectors may give the house a thorough inspection, but they aren’t going to tear out any walls in search of mice or black mold. While it might cost to have an in-depth inspectiondone, if you suspect there might be a problem, the money you spend now could save you a fortune in the future.