Be flexible when it comes to minor defects
When housing markets are hot, buyers have to be flexible when it comes to minor defects in a house they want. Because a home might have multiple competitive offers, it’s important to know how to get yours accepted so you can move into your dream home ASAP.
- Cosmetic Problems: There might be a crack in a tile, some scratched paint or old carpet you’re not a huge fan of, but these are issues that don’t cost a lot to repair and don’t affect the structural safety of the home you’re purchasing.
- Inexpensive Repairs: Anything that’ll be less than $100 to repair isn’t worth putting your deal on the line. If none of the issues are safety concerns and you can prioritize repairs after you close, don’t get hung up on them.
- Cracks in the Basement Floor: Believe it or not, not every crack in a concrete basement floor needs to be repaired. Odds are, in fact, that you have nothing to worry about if you spot one. Basement floors don’t support a home’s weight like the walls do, so most cracks in a concrete floor won’t have any effect on the home’s structural integrity.
- Failed Window Seals: While a fogged double-pane window might be less than pleasing to look at, it’s considered a cosmetic issue only, and has little effect on the windows insulating power and the energy savings they provide.
- Minor Water Damage: When a home undergoes water intrusion on any interior building materials like drywall or wood, the signs can sometimes look worse than they are. Your home inspector will definitely take notice of these areas, and they’ll also be able to tell you if they indicate a more significant problem.
When You Should Request a Repair
What should you pay special attention to on your inspection report? In short, anything that has a direct structural or mechanical effect on the home or its systems, or anything about the home environment that has the potential to cause an unsafe living condition for your family.
- Structural issues like a leaking roof or large cracks in basement walls
- Evidence of termites or other wood-destroying organisms
- Major plumbing problems that inhibit use of the home’s systems
- Electrical defects that are known safety issues
- Lot drainage issues (water collecting near the foundation)
- Wildlife infestations such as squirrels or bats
- Evidence of ongoing or extensive mold problems
- Elevated radon levels beyond safe maximums
If you have questions about whether something on your home inspection report qualifies as a major issue you should be concerned about, just ask your inspector!