You've saved up your downpayment. You found a wonderful San Antonio REALTOR®. In turn, they helped you find the perfect home to enjoy the Stone Oak lifestyle. As part of your due diligence, you hire a professional to perform a home inspection. After all, this is a sizeable investment that you're about to make. You want to ensure that it's a sound one. Here are a few home inspection warning signs to watch out for.
San Antonio Home Inspection Warning Signs
Sewer issues can take their toll on your pocketbook. One of the home inspection warning signs to watch out for is any sign of water leakage. But limiting that to obvious water stains inside the house does you a disservice. Raised (or heaving) sidewalks, walkways, or driveways could indicate a leak somewhere. Sometimes, the heaving might be due to the roots of nearby trees. This can also create a problem down the road. Roots planted too close to water or sewer pipes may damage the pipes and cost you dearly to fix later on. Also, watch out for standing water anywhere in the yard.
Cracks in the Foundation
Tree roots could also be the cause of cracks in the foundation, another one of the home inspection warning signs to watch out for. While small hairline cracks can be attributed to settling, you should question any crack larger than 1/4" wide, especially when it runs parallel to or is located directly on the foundation. This indicates undue pressure on that San Antonio home's foundation.
Did you notice water stains inside the house when you toured it? Was there fresh paint on the walls? Do you see vegetation outside that hides your view of the exterior walls? While the paint and vegetation might just be a way for the seller to make their San Antonio home look its best for the market, these could also be hiding bigger issues with a faulty roof. Always try to look directly at the exterior walls by pulling back vegetation whenever possible. They might be hiding serious water damage underneath. If your home inspector doesn't go up on a ladder to look at the roof (some don't), it might be a good idea to hire a roofing inspector to do the job. The couple of hundred dollars extra you spend may save you thousands down the road.
Some older homes were built before most of our modern conveniences. We use much more electricity than we did even 20 or 30 years ago. Older electrical systems might not be able to handle our modern workload. If you see several extension cords throughout the house, that could mean that your electrical panel isn't up to snuff. Also, old knob and tube wiring (popular in homes built before 1930) and aluminum branch circuit wiring (popular in homes built between 1965 and 1972) present a serious fire hazard. If these exist, you'll need to upgrade your electrical panel. That can cost anywhere from a couple thousand dollars for the upgraded panel all the way up to $10,000+ to rewire the entire house.
Ancient Water Pipes
Finally, the last home inspection warning sign to watch out for is the condition of the pipes. Low water pressure or a gurgling sound when you turn on the water might indicate older pipes. Was the San Antonio home built between 1978 and 1995? It might contain polybutylene pipes. These were shown to break down and flood the homes in which they were located. They need to be replaced as soon as possible.
Your home inspector should be looking for these home inspection warning signs when they conduct their inspection. However, it's always a good idea to know what to look out for. Then, if you don't see it on their report, you can always ask them about it. That's another reason why you should be physically present when the inspection is conducted. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
LUX Move Up* by Christine Aldrete Banks, CRS, SRS, RSPS