March 3, 2015 by 2 Comments

So you’ve found the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood for the perfect price. You’ve even made an offer, and now that it’s been accepted, it’s time to start jumping through all the pre-closing hoops.

There’s one in particular, though, that you should pay special attention to: the home inspection.

Here are four potential problems that may mean you should reconsider the purchase.

1. The foundation

Foundations are pretty important. A bad one can create other problems with the house, like cracks in upstairs walls and doors and windows that don’t open and close properly.  They’re also pretty expensive. A new one could run you $50,000–not the kind of money you’re going to want to spend just after buying a house.

2. The roof

A professionally installed roof may last 30 years, or even more if it has been maintained properly. Age alone isn’t a deal-breaker for a roof, but if there are leaks or missing shingles, you may want to take a second look.

If yours is on its way out, a new roof will set you back $10,000 to $30,000 depending on the size of the house and the materials you use (metal roofing, for instance, is more expensive).

3. The septic system

If the home you want isn’t connected to a sewer system, then you should make sure your inspector checks the status of your septic tank. Many older systems are no longer up to code, and a faulty one can create other problems with your property, not to mention stink the place up. Expect to spend $25,000 to $50,000 for a new septic tank.

4. The electrical system

Older homes also tend to have older wiring, which can be more than just a pain when you’re trying replace a fuse. They can also be dangerous, putting you at risk for electrical fires. How much repairs will cost you depends largely on the size of the house and the difficulty of the work. It could range anywhere from a few thousand to tens of thousands.

But do you have to walk away?

Of course, there are situations where deal breakers don’t actually have to, you know, break the deal. If you can negotiate a lower price with the seller, the house may still be worth the investment for you.  Make sure that you get quotes from a few reputable contractors, first though, so that you don’t end up buying a money pit.


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2 Comments

  • miakboyd@gmail.com' Mia Boyd says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I had no idea that any of those things could be deal breakers. If a roof is leaky, would you pass on the home? Or if the septic tank wasn’t up to code? I really just want to make sure the home I’m purchasing is as good as it gets. It seems like the best way to do that would be to hire a home inspector. What does something like that cost?

  • elibaine@gmail.com' Eli says:

    I’m glad that you explained how these ‘deal breakers’ don’t have to actually break the deal. It all comes down to value and price. This is why it is so important to have home inspections before buying or selling a house. No one wants to make a mistake on such a big purchase.

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