What are common home inspection findings?
This is an extremely important question, If you’re buying or selling a home! This information will help you prepare and be well informed, so that you know the difference between ‘ that’s not such a big deal’ and ‘whoa that’s a problem’!
Hi everyone. It’s Cori and I‘m a proud Marlboro Township resident and your local REALTOR® with Monmouth County Dream Homes powered by RE/MAX CENTRAL. On this page I have a ton of fun talking about all things Real Estate, Monmouth County and Marlboro Township. So if you are interested in any of those things, you have come to the right place. Consider subscribing to our YouTube Channel for new videos every Monday.
You are now Under Contract so here comes inspections!
Going under contract on a home is so exciting, but that means the next step is right around the corner and that is inspections.
I have attended more home inspections and read more inspection reports than I can count, and over the years I have learned A ton all about our houses here in Monmouth County. Maybe even more than I needed to know!
10 Most Common Home Inspection Findings
It doesn’t matter how gorgeous or how loved a home is, the inspection is bound to reveal some findings, and sometimes they can seem pretty darn scary. In this video I’m going to be sharing the most common inspection findings from my most recent inspections here in Monmouth County New Jersey.
Also, at the end of this video, I will give you access to a copy of my guide: ‘10 Questions to ask a Home Inspector before Hiring them.’ So make sure you stick around until the end.
So are we ready for the 10 most common home inspection findings here in Monmouth County? Let’s get started!
#1: Old Windows, not opening and shutting
There are many homes in Monmouth County and more specifically Marlboro Township that are over 15 years old, many of the homes may have original windows. Here in New Jersey, it is not uncommon to see issues with the seals on windows. As long as the seal hasn’t broken and there isn’t a build up of moisture in the windows, the window is technically still functional HOWEVER, Windows that do not open properly are considered a fire houses in most of the townships here in Monmouth County, so the good news, is this is an issue that is usually required to be fixed in order to obtain a CO or certificate of occupancy. So the long end of it means that responsibility falls on the seller UNLESS you negotiated something different during attorney review.
#2: Grading of landscape and or soil towards a house
Okay, i’m going to be honest. I am convinced that this will come up in every single inspection in our area. Why am I saying this? Because I have seen it on every single one of the inspection reports I read. For the most part, this is what you’ll hear:
Vegetation was in contact with the exterior walls. The vegetation should be trimmed away 1 – 2 feet from the wall. The exterior walls were not fully visible due to overgrown vegetation. This is super common and don’t panic. That is an easy fix. I also hear very often that the landscaping and or surrounding area seems to almost tilt towards the house. Again, don’t panic. This is pointed out by an inspector to ensure that when there are heavy rains water doesn’t run towards a house. This is usually a basic issue as well. If the inspector feels it could really be a HUGE issue, then someone may have to be called in to see if the surrounding area could actually be regraded away from the home!
#3: Water Damage / Water in basement
Truth be told, at some point homes are bound to get some water damage in a basement. I’m not saying it always happens, but if you have lived in NJ during a strong hurricane, you’ll know what I mean. If there seems to be water in the basement further investigation is going to be needed to see why. It can be a simple fix. Either installing french drains, or a sump pump. Water damage can also be old and the problem has already been taken care of. For example. A home may have a sump pump but if a big storm causes a power outage, sometimes that causes an issue when the pump turns off. Don’t freak out, find out the cause, it may not be a big deal.
The key here is making sure that if there was a leak or water damage, the issue has been properly repaired and that any remaining evidence of water is purely cosmetic.
#4: Age of heating and cooling systems
Before you even entered into attorney review and the house went under contract. You should have signed off on a sellers disclosure. That’s a topic that I will be covering in the next few weeks, but for now, the basics are: A sellers disclosure tells you as the buyer all about the mechanics of the home, including age of major systems. So technically, you entered into this agreement knowing the age of the heating and cooling system.
Again, there are many homes out here in New Jersey that are well over 20 years old. It is NOT uncommon to see original air conditioners and heating units. Keep in mind they may still be functional but they are nearing the end of their useful life. A well-maintained system can last a very long time.
For this reason, HVAC inspections are mandatory in almost all towns in Monmouth County, and I know in Marlboro Township they are required. While you can’t ask the Seller to provide a new air conditioner, it is reasonable to ask for them to be in working order, and during your inspection that is what the inspector should be checking, to be sure they are working.
#5: Failed GFCI’s & Other Minor Electrical Items
It is extremely common for there to be minor electrical findings that come up in attorney review. Maybe an outlet that needs to be replaced, or other minor adjustments that need to be made in the main electrical panel. GFCI’s are ground fault circuit interrupters and they are designed to reduce the risk of shock in areas where water may be present. Often older outlets have not been converted and do need to be installed. This is a minor, and inexpensive fix, but you do need a licensed electrician to take care of it. Sometimes you’ll see extension cords in a basement or garage and they should not be used as permanent wiring, so you may need to have some hardwiring done, or junction boxes that are missing cover plates. Not a major issue. Again, the electrical items we typically see can be corrected by an electrician or a skilled handyman.
#6: Roof Issues
Water and wind damage is often the type of wear and tear we see here in NJ when it comes to the roof. Here in Monmouth County we have mainly shingled roofs, and while they last a very long time and are very durable, we do see minor roof issues on the majority of our inspections. Typically it’s something simple like a few cracked or missing shingles, or shingles that have even shifted. Again, for the most
The good news is these repairs can usually done by a qualified roofer or even a skilled handyman, and are usually not a big deal. Another thing to note, if the home has solar, it is common for some tiles to be damaged during the installation of the panels. Again, they just need to be repaired.
It’s also common to have settling cracks in the drywall. Unless the cracks are particularly wide or deep, they are generally nothing to be concerned about. If they bother you, they can be patched or taped, and then painted. The inspector will be able to tell you if any cracks warrant further investigation, but we’ve never had that issue before.
Have you heard the saying “it’s not if you get termites, but when”? Well, that’s true here in Monmouth County Too. I always recommend that our clients get a termite inspection. This inspection will tell you if the home has active termites, and if there are conditions conducive to getting termites.
If the home has termites it needs to be treated by a pest control company. We also recommend keeping a Termite Warranty on your home and renewing annually.
#9: Pool Issues
If the home has a pool, it is not uncommon for the equipment to have leaks or the finish to be deteriorating. It may be worth having a pool inspection done, particularly if owning a pool is new to you.
#10: Trip Hazards
It’s the inspector’s job to note safety hazards on the property. As the homes in Anthem settle, it is common to see trip hazards arise where the driveway meets the sidewalk, or where the sidewalk meets the front door. Depending on what has caused the trip hazard and what the surfaces are made of, this can be a bit trickier to fix, and may require some further investigation.
So, there you have it! Overall, the homes in Monmouth County and here in Marlboro are well built and our most common findings after home inspections are manageable and easy to repair. That being said, we would love to help you navigate the home buying or selling process, including the inspection period.
As promised, if you’d like to download our guide: ’10 Questions to Ask a Home Inspector before Hiring Them’, simply click here.
I’ll see YOU next Monday!