I’m a Home Inspector – the red flags we always look out for and four things buyers need to do before they buy a home

Buying a home can be stressful and time-consuming, but it’s important not to rush the process or you risk missing potential red flags.

A home inspection is your chance to learn more about the property you are considering buying and most importantly, if there are any hidden defects.

It is important to view a property before buying it so you are not faced with unexpected expenses

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It is important to view a property before buying it so you are not faced with unexpected expensesPhoto credit: Getty
Mike Powell is a structural engineer and founder of Florida-based Red Flag Home Inspection

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Mike Powell is a structural engineer and founder of Florida-based Red Flag Home Inspection

Skip the process altogether and you’ll find yourself throwing large amounts of money into unforeseen expenses.

Mike Powell, a structural engineer and founder of Tampa-based Red Flag Home Inspection, shared with The US Sun what buyers need to know about the process.

From exactly what home inspectors are looking for to the red flags of renovated properties, there’s a lot to consider.

Mike said, “It is [important] to be well informed about the purchase made.

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“It’s in the same sense as why you try on clothes, test drive a car or kick the tires.”

What examiners look for

Mike noted that there is a standardized curriculum that most inspectors in states with licensing requirements follow.

This includes ensuring there is solid documentation and memorialization, but certain home inspectors take it a step further.

For example, Mike said that pressure checks are important because otherwise pressurized water leaks may go unnoticed for years.

He added: “Suddenly you know your kitchen cabinets are rotting and that’s because standards of practice don’t require it.

“We routinely review a pressure test system to ensure there is nothing to indicate we may have an unknown leak.”

In addition, the performance of the EGC system and the indoor and outdoor air quality are checked.

Mike said, “We’re in a very humid and hot environment in Florida, which is a big deal for the health of our indoor environment.”

Red flags in recently renovated houses

If you’re buying a recently renovated home, it’s arguably even more important that the inspection is done properly.

This is especially true if the house has been off the market for a long time and the previous owner may have made a “quick fix”.

Mike said: “Anytime I see a heavily renovated car, I definitely know I have to look beyond the surface.

“We have some tools like thermal imaging cameras. The walls may look pristine, but they might be soaked with moisture.

“You have to look out for water damage and if it was just painted over.”

However, he added that you probably won’t see “too many trade-offs” in electrical and plumbing due to the importance of public health and safety.

What to do before buying a house

It can be tempting to buy a home quickly, but Mike recommended four things to do before you sign the dotted line.

This includes attempting the morning commute from your apartment or house one day to learn more about traffic patterns.

He also recommended taking the kids to local restaurants for dinner and driving around the neighborhood after a rainstorm to find out if your area is prone to flooding.

It’s also worth checking how people park their cars and whether they stand on the grass.

Mike added, “Water drainage is always a pressing concern, at least in my service.”

What to avoid and how to speed things up

If you’re planning on skipping the inspection, it’s important to weigh the risks of skipping before you decide to do so.

Mike said, “I understand how tempting that would be, but there are so many things that could go wrong.”

If you do this, ensure that you are able to bear any potentially significant costs that you may incur in the future.

As an alternative, Mike recommended hiring an inspector ahead of time who can quickly get to your prospective future home.

Most inspectors will usually send you the report 24 to 48 hours after the actual inspection.

Before hiring an inspector, Mike urged householders to interview any prospective inspector about their background, to know they can return the report.

You should make sure they have all the tools and know the techniques to get the job done.

It’s also worth reading reviews or sticking to word of mouth.

The cost of home inspections varies across the US, but the average is $339, according to contractor locator Angi.

It’s a relatively low price to pay to potentially avoid thousands in future renovation costs.

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https://www.the-sun.com/money/6005069/home-inspector-red-flags-buyers/ I’m a Home Inspector – the red flags we always look out for and four things buyers need to do before they buy a home

CELINE CASTRONUOVO

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