You’ve been searching high and low, and you’ve finally found your dream home. The only problem? It didn’t quite pass the home inspection. Now, you’re in a situation where you have to decide whether to forge ahead with this life-changing purchase or head back to the market to see what else you can fall in love with. If we’ve learned one thing by watching Home Inspector Joe, it’s that you should always take a home inspection seriously. In that vein, here are the biggest home inspection red flags Joe says you should never ignore, and some that you can potentially overlook…at least for now.
Watch Home Inspector Joe Sundays 10 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV Canada. It is also available on the Global TV App and on STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels.
Don’t Ignore: Water Damage or Grading Problems
If there’s a little bit of water damage and you can tell where it’s coming from, you may be okay to overlook it. But more often than not, water damage or poor grading (which affects drainage) is a sign of bad things to come. Joe has seen everything from recurring mould to foundational problems as a result, things that don’t exactly give you peace of mind when it comes to living in a healthy and safe structure.
Ignore For Now: Bad Window Seals
Foggy glass and condensation around the windows isn’t great, but it’s also not a deal-breaker. In fact, fixing a window seal will cost you a relatively small amount of money (a couple of hundred dollars) compared to getting brand new windows, which will run you about an average of $1,000 per window.
Don’t Ignore: Old Electrical Wiring
It may look quaint, but faulty wiring can be anything from an annoyance (not working with modern appliances) to downright dangerous (causing house fires.) As Joe can attest it’s also harder to fix than many other common home inspection problems, so you should definitely think hard about moving forward with a purchase if this comes up on the report.
Ignore For Now: Leaky Faucets
If a faucet is leaking (and it’s not an actual plumbing problem), then you can probably move ahead as planned for now. While drips can be annoying and potentially affect a water bill, they’re also easily remedied. Sometimes it’s as simple as tightening or replacing a seal, other times you’ll need a whole new faucet. Fortunately, that won’t break the bank, plus you can always get something more suited to your personal taste.
Don’t Ignore: Visible Critters
Even if you’re into insects or you think rodents are cute, an infestation of either in the home is not a good look for you. A few bugs or a family of mice that can be easily removed is one thing. But if it’s a prevailing issue, it could mean structural damage and a more costly extermination. Speak with your home inspector to see just how bad the problem is (or could potentially be) before making your decision.
Related: 10 Things First-Time Homebuyers Should Consider Before Buying Property Outside the City
Ignore For Now: Not Enough Insulation
Sure, a home needs proper insulation to moderate temperature, but not having enough insulation isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker. If the problem doesn’t extend to an infestation, mould, water damage or other concerning issues, it’s probably okay to address it later on.
Watch: Bryan Baeumler’s 10 Must-Know Tips for Renovating an Old House
Don’t Ignore: A Bad Foundation
Joe has seen all kinds of house problems over the years, but something that’s always hard to fix is a bad foundation. If the foundation is off then you can probably bet that there are worse issues throughout the home as a result. And if there aren’t yet, then there soon could be. Unfortunately, fixing foundational issues also tends to cost thousands of dollars.
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Ignore For Now: Small Cracks
If there are minor cracks in the wall or on the floor of an unfinished basement, it might not be the end of the world. An insignificant wall crack is easily remedied if you address it as soon as possible, while cracks in concrete basement floors are perfectly natural.
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Don’t Ignore: Structural Problems
Cracks in any home’s structure is a big red flag and one that should never be ignored. They can indicate problems with the foundation, but they can also reveal other issues like improper grading, inadequate soil, or other serious things that will affect and compromise the safety of your home.
Ignore For Now: Minor Roof Repairs
Replacing a whole new roof is costly and something that a buyer should absolutely go back to the seller with if it comes up in the home inspection. But as we’ve seen Joe do on the show, fixing minor problems like a clogged gutter or a couple of loose shingles is a job you can easily save to do after the home is officially in your name.
Related: How Much Does a New Roof Cost? (And 9 Other Exterior Upgrade Costs)
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