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Buying a property is an exciting endeavour that comes with different possibilities. However, there are also a few challenges associated with it, and one key thing to note is that the processes need to be followed with a lot of patience.

Rushing home inspections and adding emotions to the mix will only cause you to make wrong judgments. With that, you need to know some of the critical things to focus on and the red flags on a home inspection.

Figuring out the most severe issues for a building inspection is not always easy. Knowing the signs that could potentially mean more significant problems in the future will help you easily make the right decision. To simplify things, we have put together some of the inspection red flags you should know in this guide. Continue reading to find out more.

Red Flags On A Home Inspection

When purchasing a home, it's crucial to ensure that the property is in good condition to avoid unexpected expenses. To achieve this, it's recommended that you make a conditional offer, subject to a satisfactory home inspection.

A professional inspector will look for any issues or potential hazards that could be costly in the long run. While it can be challenging to know what to look for during an inspection, here are a few significant warning signs that you need to be aware of:

Signs of altered water pressure

One of the first things to look out for is the water pressure. It's essential to check the pressure because the low and high water pressure is signs of future water damage you wouldn't want to experience.

Low water pressure is a potential sign of hidden leaks, corroded or old pipes, or large mineral deposits within the pipe. On the other hand, high water pressure might feel fantastic, but you need to note that this can also indicate unforeseen water damage or a breakdown of one of your plumbing fixtures.

In addition to knowing the effects of this red flag, you may also need to know how to check for the sign when a home inspection is performed. The first thing to do is to turn on the water system, so you can check if the pressure is okay.

Look out for pencil-thin water flow, a basin taking forever to fill, and a whistling sound from the pipes when checking for low water pressure. When checking for high water pressure, signs to look out for include leaking taps, spilling from the showerhead or tap, and running toilets without being used.

Red flags in the bathroom

Red flags in the bathroom can be an issue of concern subsequently. Leaving the bathroom unchecked can lead to an expensive oversight. One of the critical things to look out for includes the growth of mould and leaks, but you need to note that it goes beyond that.

You should also be able to identify other bathroom problems that could occur in the future. However, not all building inspectors know how to check for these signs. One of the critical things to ensure gets flagged is unpleasant smells which can be a sign of potential plumbing issues, and painted tiles, which could be the sign of a cover-up of deteriorated tiling.

Here are other red flags to look out for:

  • Water damage: Any discolouration or staining on the walls, ceilings or floors should be inspected thoroughly. A musty odour, peeling paint or wallpaper, or a visibly warped vanity may indicate water damage.
  • Poor ventilation: A bathroom with inadequate ventilation will cause mould and mildew to develop on surfaces such as walls and ceilings, which will, in turn, cause breathing difficulties.
  • Outdated electrical: Old lighting fixtures or faulty electrical switches may be dangerous if they come into direct contact with water in the bathroom. Always ensure that all electrical fittings and fixtures are up-to-date and meet the bathroom's specific requirements.
  • Leaking faucets or pipes: Dripping pipes will cause water loss and expose the bathroom to mould and mildew growth that can be hazardous to health.
  • Loose or damaged floors: Any loose or damaged floor tiles may be the root cause of water seeping underneath, which then causes damage that can be costly to repair.

Hidden signs of dampness

In many cases, the signs of dampness, especially at the initial stages, are not easy to identify, and you may need extra help to identify these problems. Identifying these problems is essential because they can also lead to more severe conditions that could cost you more to fix.

To properly check for signs of dampness, the inspector needs to check the gutters and ensure that it is clear, look out for discoloured eaves linings, walls or ceilings, check for mould or mildew growth, and check for dampness amongst building elements.

Damage around electrical points

Another thing to look out for is damage to and around electrical wiring, which can cost a lot to repair. These are dangerous signs to look out for, and you'll need to ensure that the property you buy is in good working condition.

You'll need to check different electrical problems, but regardless of the type of problem, the key thing to note is that you shouldn't ignore any of these problems because they could be more hazardous in the future. To check for electrical faults, you'll need the services of a licensed professional.

However, before you get one, there are a few things you could look out for. Among these signs include sockets or switches that are warm to the touch, damaged or frayed electrical wiring and fittings, crackling or buzzing signs when you turn on the switches and dim lights on the wall or ceiling.

Recently moved or unusually placed furniture

This is something that many sellers innocently do. Still, you need to understand that some sellers also use it as a tactic to cover unpleasant problems and issues within the property.

Many inspectors have often seen cracked tiles under bathroom floor mats and damaged walls behind bookcases. It is vital to be able to access the adjacent side walls to the shower alcoves and bathtubs where possible. You wouldn't want to be caught in a situation requiring you to pay bills for repairs you could have easily identified during the inspection process.

The key things to keep an eye out for include strategically placed rugs that could mask damaged flooring, among others. All of these are red flags that you should not ignore.

Agent insisting on meeting on a particular day

You might want to think they do this because of their busy schedule or other reasons to be unavailable. If you don't inspect the property at a particular time of the day, it will be challenging to get a complete picture of what to expect from the house.

This is also a strategy that people use in real estate to increase the selling price of the home while concealing other issues you should know. You need to understand how to avoid this problem; for this, you may want to attempt to inspect the property at different times of the day.

Also, consider checking the property early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Another thing to ensure is that visiting the house mid-day might make it harder for you to tell whether you have noisy neighbours.

Get Home Inspectors to Find All Red Flags

In addition to all the red flags we have highlighted above, you also need to look out for potential signs of pest infestations within the property, as this could also lead to more severe problems and significant pain in your hip pocket.

So, pest inspections should be included in your home inspection. Many people quickly conclude the inspection process without being on the lookout for these and other red flags. However, getting a professional home inspector to check thoroughly will help avoid unplanned expenses.

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