Six things you need to know before you call for that home inspection.
I see it all the time: Inspection reports citing issues that need to be “repaired”, often providing a negative first impression of a property that can lower its perceived value. But the real issue is that these commonly cited items are simple, easy fixes the homeowner could have addressed before the inspection - if only they had known what the inspector was going to look for.
The Bay Area is unique in that our housing market moves faster than most in the country. Because of that, sellers here routinely obtain inspection reports prior to listing their home, since it is likely to sell before any potential buyers could obtain inspection reports of their own.
Look for these six simple issues before you call that inspector:
1. Check that all light bulbs are working and replace any burnt out bulbs. A bulb that isn’t working, burnt out or otherwise, will be cited as “unsure if fixture is working or not”.
2. Blow any leaves off of the roof and clean out the gutters. Repair any leaks in gutters with silicone caulk. Dirty roof pictures are in many reports and make buyers question how much care the home has had over time.
3. Check under sinks for drips or leaks and repair if necessary.
4. Verify all kitchen, bathroom, garage, and exterior outlets have GFCI protection as required by the building code.
5. Check downspouts and make sure that water runoff is directed at least 4’ away from the base of the house. Use splash guard trays to divert water if downspout extenders cannot be used.
6. Check for holes or gaps in the small screens that cover the ventilation openings around the foundation. While these openings are critical for airflow and moisture control in the crawlspace, a broken screen can allow rodents to enter, which the inspector will note. Don’t put this thought in the minds of potential buyers.
These are just a few of the most commonly cited issues that I’ve run across. There are more I’d like to share with you. Call me before you call the home inspector to learn about other common issues and their simple fixes.
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Disclaimer: This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.
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