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Home Inspection Issues That Should Raise a Red Flag to Today’s Home Buyer

1. A Leaking Oil Tank. Residential homes in the Northeast part of the United State were typically built in the 1920’s and 30’s, when oil fuel was prominent. Many homes today still have active oil tanks underground on the property. A buyer should always have a soil sample test conducted to see if there are any leaks, and I recommend to all my home buyers that all oil tanks be relocated indoors to the basement area, or at least above ground. If you find that a oil tank is leaking, you may either walk away from the purchase, or embark on a lengthy but totally manageable remediation process before closing on the property.

2. Mold. If your inspedtor detects mold in the house, bring in a mold testing specialist to find out a) if there IS mold, b) what kind it is and c) to what extent it effects the property.

3. Active Termites. Old termite damage is very common and acceptable, but active termite activity is considered a structural issue and must be treated by a Seller.

4. Federal Pacific Electric Panel. Federal Pacific went bankrupt after being sued by 100’s of families that experienced house fires due to an inability for the electric panel to trip breakers. Many of these fires resulted in deaths. If you find a Federal Pacific Panel in a home, immediately have it changed out by a licensed electrician.

5. Asbestos on Pipes. While asbestos tile flooring is not such a big deal, asbestos insulation on pipes is a problem. Many people say to just have it encapsulated, but that doesn’t work in older homes. When old plumbing needs replacing, many plumbers won’t do the work if they have to deal with asbestos before getting to the pipes. So, have a licensed contractor remove all asbestos before closing, or get a credit for the cost to do it, and be sure the work is performed when no one (especially children & pets) is home Asbestos New York.

6. An Old Roof. A new roof is expensive, so if your inspector believes that the roof on a house is “beyond its lifespan”, ask the Seller to give you a credit towards this expense.

7. Failing Boiler or Hot Water Heater. If the inspector says that any of the major mechanicals have failed, have the Seller repair/replace them, or at least issue a Home Warranty that will allow for the repair/replacement once you own the home. Remember, every Buyer has an inspection contingency in their purchase contract, and should retain the right to conduct their inspection even after reviewing the Seller’s Disclosure (or questionnaire about the property that is filled out by the Seller). The Seller’s Disclosure states all known information about a property, therefore, during the Home Inspection the Buyer should specifically look for issues that contradict what was stated in the Seller’s Disclosure. If any of the above inspection items have been disclosed by the Seller in the disclosure, there is less liklihood hood that any concessions will be made, so make a purchase offer with this information in mind.

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