Any time you decide to sell your home and move to greener pastures you're bound to hit some roadblocks along the way. Moving is never an easy process, what with packing up your entire life (which seems to have grown considerably since your last move) and relocating the family. Even when you think you've found the perfect home, you still have to go through the rigmarole of selling your current property. Unfortunately, you may not realize just how difficult this process can be until you have to undergo a home inspection. If you haven't been keeping up with proper maintenance and watching for signs of wear and tear, your friendly house inspector might be so friendly for your pocketbook.
Below are some of the most common pitfalls to watch out for, along with some solutions to prevent them manageable.
Unless you live in Kansas or some other predominantly flat area, you might be faced with one of the most common issues for homeowners: poor grading. Even if your lot looks relatively flat and hard-packed, it may settle over time, sloping towards your home and leading water directly to it. Of course, this wouldn't be a problem if you had proper drainage, but many homes don't. This could mean water in your basement, damage to the foundation, rot, mold, and all kinds of problems. So don't wait for the water to start coming in the basement windows. Install proper drainage from the get-go, re-grade your parcel if necessary, and avoid all the costs associated with water damage.
A standard roof with asphalt shingles will last about 15-20 years on average, after which you should start to think about replacing it. Of course, this is an expensive undertaking if you're looking to sell the home. Your best bet is to keep your roof in good repair from the time it is new, including regular inspections, along with re-caulking and replacing any shingles that are damaged. At some point the roof will need full replacement, but perhaps under new ownership.
These wood-loving insects will use your home for food if you don't catch them quickly, so don't hesitate to tour the perimeter of your home from time to time in search of the telltale mud tubes that give away their presence. If allowed to flourish, termites can literally eat you out of house and home.
Electrical issues. There's no denying that homeowners these days have much steeper energy needs, thanks to the many electronics devices that make our lives easier. Of course, this can put a strain on older electrical systems, leading to blown breakers and much more serious issues. In this case, you'll want to get some professional upgrades made (doing your own could come back to bite you during an inspection) to make sure everything is functioning up to code.
Old plumbing is not uncommon, and it can lead to a number of issues for homeowners, especially when the demand for water (for daily showers, indoor fountains, and extravagant landscaping) is higher than it used to be. The main problem for home inspectors, though, is pipes that leak. There is no real way to avoid this issue should it arise, but if you call the plumber immediately when you see signs of damage you should be able to stave off a truly astronomical bill for massive water damage, not to mention keep your pipes in ship-shape for your home inspection.
About the author: Leon Harris is a contributing writer for Kinetic Fountains. Harris lives in Southern California, and enjoys eating healthy and exercising with his two Golden Retrievers.