Before you purchase a new home, it's highly recommended that you enlist the help of a professional home inspector (such as one from Taylor Made Inspections). Their job is to check the main components of the home such as the roof, heating and cooling system, foundation, and major appliances. While some homes pass inspection with flying colors, some may have issues that are not easily seen with the naked eye. Here are some of the most commonly discovered issues with homes found by inspectors.
In older homes, some may still have what's known as "knob and tube" wiring. This old form of electrical connections is no longer safe, nor would it pass today's current code. If an inspector finds this problem, they'll most likely recommend that the seller have the home rewired before selling it. Other common electrical issues include backwards polarity at the main breaker box, and loose wiring in fixtures and plugs.
The foundation of a home is the most important element. Often, home inspectors will discover water in the basement which is an indicator that there are deeper foundation problems at play. Cracking brick on the outside of a home is also a serious problem as well as a home that tends to "tilt" to one side. If a floor is not level, this is a sure sign that the foundation may need to be looked at and fixed before it becomes more dangerous.
Roof and Windows
The roof and windows are essential to protecting your home from the elements and helping to ensure proper insulation. A cracked or leaky roof is certainly an indicator that it needs to be replaced. Loose or missing shingles can also be an indicator of bigger issues. Windows that show condensation or loose seals around them, as well as those that do not close tightly and lock all the way or have a broken sash cord are other problems inspectors might see, and suggest that they be replaced.
A fireplace is an excellent addition to any home. Inspectors are looking for a number of different "red flags" when they take a look at both the fireplace and the chimney. One of the most common problems they'll find is loose or even missing flashing. The flashing around a fireplace should be tightly in place in order to avoid leaks. If it is missing or loose it should be replaced or tightened back onto the chimney. A few other common problems include missing chimney caps, cracked mortar around the chimney, or broken tiles inside the flue.