Money Pit Red Flags: What to Look for in a Home Inspection

Jan 28, 2020 2 min read

After months of house hunting, you’ve finally found the perfect house and you’re ready to lay out that down payment on a new home. Congratulations! Buying a new home can be exciting, but investing in a money pit is not. From improper ventilation to roof issues, there are several things to look for in a home inspection. Watch out for these common home inspection findings and repairs that can cost you.

Roof Issues

Your roof is your main line of defense against the elements. Before you buy a home, pay careful attention to the age of the roof and any potential leaks or issues that might require maintenance. Your home inspector likely will be able to tell you the age and material type of the roof, as well as any notable history to help you assess the situation. A poorly maintained or leaky roof is a common home inspection finding that can lead to serious trouble — and money — down the road.

Foundation Problems

A poor foundation can lead to water leaks in the basement, resulting in mold. Fixing foundation issues is costly, so make sure to take a thorough look at it before you buy. If you find any cracks wider than the width of your pinkie nail, it’s a money pit red flag. Also, check all other hard-surface floors and drywall for cracks.

Signs of Mold or Mildew

If you smell musty odors and dank air, you could be dealing with mold or mildew, which often are the result of improper ventilation. But mold problems aren’t always easy to detect and could require a professional inspection. Check for signs of mold around air conditioners, windows and cellar floors during your home inspection. The cost of mold remediation can be pricey! Also, actively growing mold could damage the structure of the home and trigger allergies.

Termites and Other Pests

Make sure your new dream home isn’t also the home of choice for termites or other pests. The sooner you’re able to complete a termite inspection, the better off you’ll be. However, termite activity isn’t always easily detectable during certain seasons. But it’s always a good idea to look for signs of an infestation during your home inspection, which could include piles of discarded wings, mud tubes near the house’s foundation and cracked or bubbling paint in certain areas of the home. Getting rid of the termites is just the first step. You’ll also need to repair any damage discovered during your inspection, which could set you back thousands of dollars.

Water Stains or Damage

Unsightly brown circles on the ceiling or trickling brown lines down a wall should be a big money pit red flag. If you find water stains during your home inspection, this might be an indicator of a major roof leak, which can be very costly to repair.

Protect Your New Home with Farm Bureau

Before you settle into your new house, connect with your local Farm Bureau Agent — we know that a home is more than a roof over your head. For questions about how to protect your home and the other things that matter most, contact your agent.  

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