Just about every homeowner orders an inspection when looking seriously at one particular house (hopefully). Home inspections are done to ensure the buyer that the home is safe, and habitable. There are many red flags that you’ll want to watch for during the home inspection. Equally as important, is that you study the home inspection report after you receive it. There will be lots of terms that you don’t understand in it. Don’t be embarrassed by asking your realtor to explain these terms to you. Below are some of the red flags that should raise warning to your attention. Read: 3 Signs of a Bad Home Inspector.
The first is any staining on the ceiling, especially if they are brown in color. This usually means that these is currently a leak; it at least means that there definitely was a leak at some point in time. The reason this should raise a flag, is that water obviously travels. This means that the source of the leak (if it was the ceiling) was likely not limited to that one spot.
Meaning you may be dealing with water damage troubles later on. It could also even be coming from the roof, which will be very expensive to fix if that is the case.
You’ll be wanting to watch out for any warped boards on the floor, any tiles on the floor that are peeling upward, or any cracked tiles. These things all point to water damage. This is how warped floors happen. When water sits long enough underneath floors, they buckle, or crack the surface.
If you smell mildew in the basement, you should tread lightly. If water is regularly seeping into the basement, there are probably major problems. You do not want to deal with water damage when you first buy a house. Definitely watch for any chipping paint around the windows; this always means very bad news; same with any peeling caulk.
Look to see if there are any old windows; if you see air leaking into the home, you have an issue. Storm windows in particular do not support insulation very well, and replacing windows costs a substantial amount of money.
This should be obvious, but it must be said in case you didn’t know about it. If there are any appliances that are “not working,” it may indicate a problem. The seller may not want you to know that something is going on with the house. Non-working appliances usually don’t work because the problem is coming from one central (and very important part) of the house. Also check for any foundational or structural issues. For further reading, see: Common Problems Found During Home Inspections.