Boston area home inspections are an integral part of the real estate buying process. While inspections are not always required, most experts agree they are important. A thorough home inspection provides a home buyer with the peace of mind that there aren’t major issues with the house they’re considering buying. In some cases, an inspection may reveal problems that need to be addressed before the sale of the home can be consummated. Here are six home inspection issues likely to kill a real estate deal.
Boston Area Home Inspections – The Bad News
A qualified home inspector is trained to look at and document everything in the home inspection ranging from a blown fuse to a cracked foundation. Some issues are, of course, worse than others. If you’re contemplating buying a home being inspected, it’s imperative you concentrate on issues discovered that pose a structural or home systems threat. They could cost thousands of dollars in repairs.
Those issues will ultimately affect the likelihood the sale will go through as planned. Naturally, everything is negotiable in a home sale, but home inspection problems need to be resolved before the seller and the buyer are satisfied.
Let’s look at Boston area home inspections issues that may derail a home sale.
Public awareness of asbestos has been raised substantially since the early days when this cancer-causing material was used as artificial snow in stage and movie productions. The poppy field scene in the movie, “The Wizard of Oz,” is one example. Homes built before 1975 could contain asbestos in the felt material used in roofing or the roof penetration sealant. In addition, the tape used to seal ventilation and heating ducts, cement board siding and older tiles may also contain harmful asbestos.
One home inspector points says the presence of asbestos isn’t a major issue unless it’s disturbed or removed during remodeling. Usually, the asbestos can be covered with other materials to protect it from damage. However, deteriorating asbestos insulation found around pipes can be a serious health issue. It’s important a qualified asbestos abatement contractor remove it prior to the home closing.
Radon is a naturally occurring, carcinogenic and radioactive gas. It is often found in the crawl spaces or basements of older homes. The problem with radon is it can filter up through the entire home’s structure. While most homes are free of radon gas, if an inspector discovers radon in the course of his Boston area home inspections, it should be remedied. Cost estimates range between $1,500 and $2,500.
Buried Oil Tank
Homes built between 1930 and the 1990s often have oil tanks buried on the property. If an inspection discovers the tank is leaking or deteriorating, it must be dug up and removed. An intact tank with no leakage can cost more than $5,000 to dig up and dispose of. If the tank is leaking, the cost could more than double – especially if the groundwater has been adversely affected. A tank that was buried properly, shows no signs or leaking or deteriorating, and was professionally decommissioned can remain on the property – but the home buyer assume’s the risk and responsibility of removing the tank in the future if a problem occurs. It’s best to address buried oil tank issues in advance.
Exposed wiring can present a safety hazard. Do-it-yourselfers who haven’t been properly trained are often responsible for exposed wiring issues. In addition, the knob-and-tube wiring common in homes built prior to 1930 rarely lasts and should be updated by a qualified electrical contractor.
Boston area home inspections that include black mold in their reports are often deal breakers. They can stop a mortgage financing commitment dead in its tracks. If you have a spouse or family member with respiratory conditions it’s probably a good idea to move on to another property. At a minimum, have the seller hire a professional remediation company to get rid of the black mold. And, be sure to have the home re-tested after the work is completed.
A home inspection that reveals termite damage will be difficult to sell. Fixing the damage is usually expensive and time-consuming. In addition, a home with termite damage requires an additional inspection by a structural engineering expert to examine the integrity of the home’s framing to see if additional support is required. Home buyers who elect to buy a house with termite damage should do so only after they receive documentation from a termite company stating the house is covered by a termite warranty.
A Final Word on Boston Area Home Inspections
If you’re selling your home, major issues revealed by a home inspection scare away potential buyers. But before you panic and rush out to try and fix the issue yourself or pay someone to do so, consider negotiating with the buyer. If the buyer likes the home enough, they may be willing to offer a little less and have the work performed once they become the new owners. However, buyers should be aware of this: know how much the proposed repairs will cost, and how much you’re willing to spend. In the long run that will save you money, time and headaches.
You can find more articles pertaining to Boston area home inspections in the Boston area Home Inspections section of our site below Boston area Real Estate Categories in the column to your right.