Getting a home inspection is really one of the most crucial steps in buying a home. You want to know exactly what condition your home is in and what repairs are going to be needed so that you can budget for those costs. You don’t want to end up with a house that has a handful of very expensive repairs that you haven’t planned for. Here are a few things a standard inspection might miss.
Blocked Sewer Lines - When checking for blocked sewer lines in a standard inspection, major problems might not be exposed in the time the inspector is there. An inspector will estimate the age of the drain pipe and check what type it is along with looking for trees or anything else that could be a potential problem to the line. Bigger problems may take a day or two to develop. If you’re concerned about this, request sewer pipe scoping.
Damaged HVAC Systems - Although your heating and cooling system may appear fine, one day they may just stop working. Air conditioners sometimes fail under temperature stress. However, it’s not worth the $3,000 - $5,000 it costs to hire an inspector to check it out. So if your system is acting up, just buy a new one. That being said, this is not the case for heat. It’s worth hiring an inspector to check an old furnace. The general rule is if your furnace is older than a decade, get it checked. It becomes a safety issue if it develops cracks. It will allow combustion air containing carbon monoxide to mix with indoor air. It’s definitely worth getting checked out if you have an old furnace.
Electric Problems - When it comes to your home’s electrical system, this is more in the expertise of an electrician. An inspector will usually to a visual check, and if they run into an issue, they may not be able to identify it. It’s best to hire an electrician to check it out if you run into any problems.
Leaks - When a home is put on the market, usually it hasn’t been lived in for a period of time if the owners have moved out. Because of this, leaks are going to be harder to catch. Without water running through the home, leaks have probably dried up and may take a few days to show themselves again. You should always check carefully for any water stains. And always hire a professional inspector who has been working for a long time in the area, they will be more knowledgeable about problem spots.
At the end of the day, home inspectors will do the best they can to find any problems in your home. It’s usually helpful to get a second opinion from a specialist.