Home Buying Essentials: How to Check for Potential Dangers and Problems

couple inspecting a house

A home inspection is an extremely vital event that homebuyers look forward to during the home buying process. It is the perfect opportunity to have a licensed professional examine every nook and cranny of the home you’re eyeing to mortgage here in Utah to ensure that you’ll make the most of your buying experience and that you’re getting a great deal.

But with so much at stake, you can do a little snooping of your own during a private showing or open house before the actual home inspection date. This way, you can report whatever concerns you find to the home inspector, and he will be able to scrutinize them better.

Here’s what you should look out for.

Cracked Caulking

Check out the caulking on sinks and tubs. Although cracked caulking is an indicator of age, it could also be a warning sign of mold hiding in the walls. See if there are also holes or cracks that require fixing, and dark stains that might indicate water damage.

Improperly Installed Recessed Lights

If you can check out the attic, inspect the storage space, potential insulation problems, as well as safety issues such as incorrectly installed and potentially hazardous recessed lighting. Ask where the recessed lighting is installed and determine if any insulation rests on the light cans.

If so, this is a major fire hazard that needs to be fixed.

Sagging and Leaning Walls and Floors

Leaning, crooked and uneven floors and walls could indicate serious problems with the foundation. To check, place a coin on the edge of the floor and if it rolls, the floor is crooked. You can likewise feel the wall with your hands or cheek to look for irregularities and sloping.

But keep in mind that you shouldn’t dismiss an older house just because it’s somewhat leaning or crooked. However, if you’re really concerned, don’t forget to take it up with your home inspector.

Lack of Vent Pipes

During your inspection of the backyard, make sure to check out the roof and see how many vent pipes are there. Generally speaking, there should be a vent pipe for the kitchen and separate vent pipes for multiple bathrooms.

Seeing these pipes are very crucial because if you don’t see them but find that all bathrooms and the kitchen are vented, this means that the vents probably end in the attic, which in turn exposes the house to excess moisture.

Slow Drains

sink dropping water

If you can, turn on all faucets you can find and check out how the water drains. Basically, slow drainage usually means substandard installation or clogged drains. But that’s not all, it might also indicate a sewer line issue that’s costly to fix.

Make certain to take a peek at the basement or cellar as water is draining. See if you can spot drips, which are warnings signs of pipe or plumbing issues.

Once you have seen all there is to see, report back to your home inspector and your real estate agent. You never know, your Sherlock skills might help you avoid spending your hard-earned cash on money pit or land you a better deal on the house.