Thursday, January 18, 2007

Top 5 Home Inspection Finds

Here's a list of the most frequently found items during home inspections. Homeowners - you'd be wise to take a look at this list and make a few repairs around your home if you're thinking of selling - or you've just gone under contract.

If you take the time to fix these 5 items in your home before the home inspector makes a note of them, your home will instantly gain the credibility of a well cared for home with a pro-active homeowner. Always a desirable thing during the sensitive time at the beginning of any contract contingency period.

  • Furnace maintenance: Inspectors ALWAYS note that the furnace should be professionally maintained including a professional cleaning. This will also include changing the furnace filter and humidifier water panel. If you can demonstrate that you already did this, or if your furnace & filters are super clean, you'll save the aggravation of doing it during your move.
  • Caulk around your bathtubs and showers: You know you need this, but it's such a hassle. Plus, you know you can't make a clean bead of caulk the way a pro can. Hire it out and get it done. More hassle saved.
  • Stuck windows: If you know you have a sticky window, or a window that's painted shut, get it unstuck before your inspector finds it. If a window is stuck, the inspector will usually list a laundry list of SCARY reasons that the window doesn't work. Anything from improper installation to structural failure written in a report will cause alarms to go off in your buyers' minds. It's never fun to get a letter from your buyers' lawyer demanding a structural inspection when a squirt of WD-40 would take care if this upfront.
  • Loose toilets: Inspectors love to point out a little bit of wiggle in a toilet. If yours does, it's a pretty easy fix. Your buyer will demand that a licensed plumber perform this easy handyman task. Save the cash - do it now.
  • GFCI Outlets: Most communities require Ground Fault Interruptor Circuits (GFCI) near water and for outside outlets. These life-savers trip off when water gets on the outlet or an appliance shorts out from water. All inspectors will point out that modern building codes require GFCI's to be installed near the sinks in kitchens and baths. Your home might be grandfathered if it was built before the rules were changed in your town. Your buyer is going to ask for these anyway; and will probably demand - again - that they be installed by a licensed electrician. GFCI outlets only cost $25 at Home Deopt. Buy enough and install them yourself.

Take care of these items and your house will most likely sail through inspection with glowing remarks from the inspector and your buyer will have the warm-fuzzies for selecting such a well cared-for home.