Many house defects are hiding in the walls, in the basement or under a brand new coat of paint. And unless you have an extensive home construction background, you’ll have little to no chance of spotting these hidden defects.
There are, however, a few things you can look out for when touring properties. Here are five of the most common areas for unseen house defects that are often overlooked by homebuyers and property investors.
1. Roof Leaks – Checking a roof for defects is a lot more than taking a walk around the house looking for popped nails or missing shingles. Water damage from a leaky roof can show up not only on ceilings and walls, but also in the attic or crawl spaces.
2. Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Systems – Before purchasing a home, the heat, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC) must all be tested properly.
3. Damaged Windows or Doors – Windows and doors, both inside and out, need to be examined to see if they’re level, working properly and have sufficient weather stripping. Glass doors should be checked for insulated energy-efficient glass. Every window in the home should be opened and closed to make sure it’s working properly.
4. Carpets and Floors – Rugs and carpets should be checked for wear, tear, mold, and water damage. Carpets should be lifted to inspect the condition of the flooring underneath. Remember, there are many types of damage that can be hidden with a nice looking rug!
5. Appliances – All major appliances should be checked to confirm that they’re in good working order. Appliances don’t last forever, so it you’re purchasing a home with older appliances, you’ll need to budget for replacements fairly soon.
It’s easy to see why many homebuyers and property investors bring in a professional home inspector to examine a house before signing a contract. Here’s just one example of a web page dedicated to showing people how to cover up damaged ceilings!
That allows them to focus on the lovely new kitchen cabinets and freshly painted bedroom walls, while the home inspector checks out the basement, the attic and all the other nooks and crannies that may be hiding damage.