By this time you have read many of my home improvement blogs, you may find that being a homeowner not only needs to be handy, but should carry some basic home inspection skills. The nicest home on the block could become the most TLC needed on the block 40 years later with lack of maintenance. The sooner you notice the problem, the less severe the situation is, the less money it cost to repair or replace. So what are some of the things that a home inspector would call out and we can be aware of ourselves? Here are the top 5 things we see on most of the home inspection reports:
- Missing Smoke Detectors/Carbon Monoxide detectors - It is California’s law to have a smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your house, but this regulation was very loose and wasn’t mandatory back in the 80s or even early 90s. Set a calendar to remind yourself to check your batteries or even test them annually.
- Soften flooring - Walking throughout your house is almost what you will do everyday, and you might think some soften spots or squeaky sounds are normal. Unfortunately , it is a sign of either the sub panels underneath the floor is water damaged, and the wood has become soften or the nails for mounting the sub panels are loose. Either way, it is not safe to walk on in the long term, especially when you have elderly living at home, uneven flooring can be a big tripping hazard to them.
- Water damage in the vanity - It’s common that we would fill our vanity with many things that we don’t use everyday, and how often do we remove everything and wipe it clean? Almost never! That’s why even when they had a minor leak but because it couldn’t get dry up with everything on top of the ponding water, various of bacterias can start growing in that dark and wet area. We will recommend to check it annually.
- Loose Toilet - Almost 85% of the 500+ home inspection reports I read every year calls out loose toilet and a new wax ring is needed. Replacing wax ring and sealing it can be a less than $300 job, and you can worry free from water leakage that may lead to water damage to the sub panel below the tiles. The worst I’ve seen was a 40 year old toilet tilted forward because the wax ring was deteriorated and the water was leaking onto the sub panel beneath it for many years, and the toilet was too heavy to support, so it started to tilt. I am glad the toilet didn’t fall onto the unit below.
- Gardening and irrigation system - One big call out from the inspection report is having plants growing on the wall, or having irrigation system water right next to the exterior wall. Roots and water can both hurt your foundation big time. Next time, when you are thinking where to plant your baby fruit tree, understand how big it will grow and how often does it needs watering, then determine where is the best spot to dig the hole!
Susanna Leung’s goal as a real estate professional with Haylen Group is to help her first-time home buying clients find that perfect home where their families can grow, thrive, and live their dreams in the United States. She applies her experience in remodeling, resource networking, negotiations, and advanced marketing to provide her clients with dedicated, full coverage service.