Watch Out for These Red Flags on Your Home Inspection Report

Watch Out for These Red Flags on Your Home Inspection ReportIf you are looking to buy a home in Portland, one of the wisest things you can do to make a great investment is pay careful attention to your home inspection report. Did you know that April is actually National Home Inspection Month? It's a great time to learn more about the home inspection process and how it can benefit you as a buyer.

With a home inspection contingency in your offer, you have the chance to find out exactly what you are getting yourself into and even back out without penalty if there are some major issues with the home. These are some red flags to watch out for when you are looking at homes for sale in Portland. 

The Importance of a Home Inspection Contingency

While not a part of every real estate deal, we almost always recommend including a home inspection contingency in your offer. A home inspection contingency is a crucial clause that allows the buyer to conduct a thorough inspection of the property before finalizing the sale. This contingency serves several important purposes and offers protections for the buyer throughout the home buying process.

The home inspection contingency allows you to have an inspection conducted, and then negotiate based on what the inspection reveals if needed. This might mean asking the seller to have something replaced or repaired, negotiating for a lower sales price, or even backing out of the purchase altogether (without listing your earnest money). 

It provides peace of mind in case any of these red flags come up during the inspection:

Foundation Problems

The structural integrity of the home's foundation is, no pun intended, foundational to the condition of the home as a whole. Any issues with its integrity can lead to costly repairs down the line. Red flags in a home inspection report related to the foundation may include cracks, uneven settling, or signs of water intrusion in the basement or crawl space. In Portland, where seismic activity is a consideration, it's essential to assess the foundation's stability to ensure the home can withstand potential earthquakes.

Water Damage

Portland is known for being a rainy climate with abundant moisture. This damp climate makes homes susceptible to water damage and mold growth, particularly in older properties or those with inadequate drainage systems.

If your home inspection report reveals signs of water damage, such as stains on walls or ceilings, musty odors, or visible mold growth, it should be taken seriously. Mold not only poses health risks but also indicates underlying moisture issues that may require extensive remediation.

Roofing Issues

There are other things to be aware of because of this damp climate, too. The Pacific Northwest's rainy winters can put a strain on a home's roof, making it vulnerable to leaks and deterioration. As you review the report from the home inspection, pay attention to the condition of the roof, including missing or damaged shingles, signs of sagging or buckling, and evidence of past repairs. A compromised roof can lead to water infiltration and structural damage if not addressed promptly.

Plumbing and Electrical

Outdated electrical and plumbing systems pose safety hazards and can be costly to upgrade. If the home you are looking to buy is only a few years old, chances are good that it won't have any plumbing or electrical problems. However, and older home (even if it is newly renovated) may have some outdated and hazardous systems.

Red flags in a home inspection report may include knob-and-tube wiring, aluminum wiring, or evidence of water leaks, corroded pipes, or insufficient water pressure. Ensuring that the home's electrical and plumbing systems are up to code and in good working condition is essential for your safety and comfort.

Pest Infestations

Any home, even if it has been well maintained and the owner have kept things clean, can end up with pests. Signs of pest infestation, such as droppings, gnaw marks, or wood damage, should not be overlooked during a home inspection. Addressing pest issues promptly is crucial if you want to  prevent further damage to the property's structure and ensure a healthy living environment. Pest control is not usually a major expense, and we can likely help you negotiate with the sellers to have the the issue resolved before closing.

Environmental Hazards  

Some homes in Portland may be susceptible to environmental hazards such as radon, asbestos, or lead-based paint. This is especially true in some of the charming historical homes in Portland. A comprehensive home inspection should include testing for these contaminants, especially in older homes built before regulations were in place to mitigate their risks. Exposure to environmental hazards can have serious health implications, so it's essential to address any concerns identified during the inspection process.

To move forward in purchasing a home with confidence, a home inspection is crucial. "Home inspections are a critical part of the home buying and selling process. Failure to obtain a home inspection could potentially cost you a great deal of money and hassles in the long run." -National Association of Realtors (NAR)

If you want to learn more about the Portland real estate market or finding homes for sale in Portland, we can help. Contact us any time to get started. 

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