In the market for a new home? Then it’s critical to get a thorough home inspection from a highly reputable firm. Doing so can potentially save you many thousands of dollars and help you avoid unwanted surprises after closing.
Many buyers who feel they’ve found their dream home will use their inspection report as part of the negotiation process to get a reduced sale price or concessions from the seller to address red flags.
Everything depends on the severity of the issues. Anything that renders the residence uninhabitable or unsafe should be carefully considered and evaluated by a professional before you finalize the sale.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by a host of needed repairs as a homeowner. If you’re unsure about the best strategy for addressing them, let’s take a closer look at the best way to prioritize issues revealed in your home inspection report.
First Things First
The truth is, most properties will have something that needs to be fixed, rehabbed, or updated. Even newly built housing could benefit from an inspection. The inspector’s report will cover many different elements and systems of the home, but most findings are usually relatively minor.
However, your family’s safety is paramount, so anything that could be dangerous should always be completed first. This includes:
- Wiring and electrical issues
- Uneven or damaged flooring
- Structural problems
- Foundation damage
- Building code violations
Anything that could cause someone to get hurt should always be focused on immediately and corrected before you move in.
Your mortgage lender might require that certain repairs are completed by the seller before the deal can go through. FHA and VA loans also have “minimum property requirements” to ensure the home is safe, sanitary, and structurally sound.
There are several issues that can derail your mortgage through these programs:
- Holes in the roof
- Faulty windows
- Wood rot
- Water leaks
- Inadequate ventilation
The next important thing to consider is the air your loved ones are breathing. You should invest in additional testing for radon, mold, and pests. This is especially crucial if the report notes that there are roof issues or water leaks.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. It seeps in through the ground and can get trapped in low-lying areas like basements.
Mold is an unfortunate fact of life that loves to take hold in warm, moist spaces. Different kinds of mold and mildew trigger a variety of allergic reactions, such as respiratory difficulties, skin rashes, burning eyes, or headaches. Stachybotrys and memnoniella, two types of “black mold,” release mycotoxins that can be fatal to pets, babies, and anyone with a compromised immune system.
If your inspection report has revealed the presence of noxious gas or unwanted fungus, hire a professional mitigation team to ensure that your loved ones will be safe and able to breathe easier.
In Chicagoland especially, you’ll also want to pay special attention to the HVAC section of your home inspection report. Our wild winter weather means ensuring you have a heating system that works efficiently is essential. The summer months can be quite unpleasant if your air conditioning is on the fritz, and your family will be much happier if they’re comfortable.
Big Ticket Items
Once you’ve handled the hazards, it’s time to take a look at bigger ticket items and come up with a strategy.
Roofs are frequently a cause for concern during a home inspection. Months of ice and snow can cause all kinds of issues with roofing materials. Depending on the shape of your roof and the size of your house, a new roof can run you up to $20,000.
On the bright side, financing is typically available for these kinds of projects. Many homeowner insurance programs require a roof evaluation and replacement every so often, so it’s vital to have this area of your house evaluated periodically by a qualified company.
Another high-cost fix is bringing your home’s windows up to date. But installing energy-efficient windows offers a big ROI (up to 85%), and also saves you tons of money on your monthly utility bills. They also add resale value.
Many municipalities offer incentives and rebates for replacing your old drafty windows and doors with ENERGY STAR-certified products, which can also lower your household energy bills by 12%.
Improve Your Home
The journey to homeownership is both exciting and nerve-wracking. One of the most important steps in the process is finding a trusted home inspection company and closely reviewing the resulting report.
Almost every house will have some issue that should probably be addressed as soon as possible. However, some problems may affect the value of the home and therefore your mortgage loan.
In Illinois, the seller is required to disclose any known material defects to a prospective buyer. If they do not, or they refuse to make any repairs to correct dangerous issues, you might have to withdraw from the sale. Consult with a real estate attorney to learn more about your options.
If you’re looking for the most capable inspectors in Chicagoland, we can help. Windy City Home Inspection is a veteran-owned business that’s been serving area residents for almost 24 years. Reach out today to learn more about our services and resources for residential and commercial properties.