home inspection report

Common problems that pop up in a home inspection report

Every home is different. But when a property inspector puts together a home inspection report, there are a few common problems that pop up more often than others. Being aware of them might help you notice things while you are doing your own viewing, or prepare you for your own home inspection report.

Not to mention that, as a seller, it can be good to know what problems might pop up so you can have a look at your own home and make remedies before putting it on the market!

Pipes and plumbing

When it comes to plumbing, you can’t afford to keep things out of sight and out of mind. Particularly in older homes, materials used for pipes like lead and steel can corrode and be expensive to replace. Even copper pipes in newer homes don’t last forever. If pipes are leaking or looking like they’ll need repairs soon, it will be an important cost to factor into your purchase. 

Insulation and ventilation

Summer is normally a popular time to buy homes, because homes tend to look a bit nicer in the sunshine! But if you don’t get a property inspection, it might be winter time before you realise that the home isn’t well insulated enough to hold in the warmth. Knowing how well your home is insulated will mean you can prepare for the sort of electricity bills you’ll be getting in winter!

Summer can also make it difficult to check whether a home has adequate ventilation and airflow other than doors and windows, which is a common problem that comes up in reports. If you spot mould in the home while walking through, particularly in the bathroom and laundry, it means there’s no adequate ventilation and that it’s not a very healthy place to live. 

Old home appliances

If the home you are looking at comes with appliances, remember to double check that they are actually working! It’s a nasty surprise to move in only to discover that the washing machine or dishwasher isn’t working properly, which will become another cost you’ll have to add on.

Handrails

Handrails seem pretty minor, but you don’t want weak ones to fail when someone is leaning on them. While an inspector will give them a look, you too can get a sense of how secure they are when walking around the home. 

The roof

Because the roof is difficult to check yourself, your property inspector will be sure to check it when they do an inspection. The roof can sometimes cause problems if it’s damaged or leaking, especially if the home is an environment that’s exposed to the elements. Replacing a roof is a big commitment, so you’ll want to make sure the roof has plenty of life left in it before signing on the dotted line. 

Spotting common problems in a home inspection report

While these are some of the more common problems that pop up in an inspection to be aware of, there are a whole range of things a property inspector will look out for. To guarantee that your potential home won’t have any unpleasant surprises, book a property inspector and a home inspection report before making any commitments. You can inquire about a quote for a potential property via the form below!

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pre purchase property inspection

Looking after gutters with the help of a pre purchase house inspection

Gutters. They seem simple enough, but when something goes wrong they can cause big problems. Blocked gutters and downpipes can be a serious defect if they lead to water or structural damage! 

When a qualified property inspector does a pre purchase house inspection, they’ll keep an eye out for any problems with the guttering of a home or any structural damage. That way, you can be fully aware of the condition of the home you are purchasing. But once you are in your dream home, there are some things you can also do yourself to stop any damage happening. Taking care of your gutters is an important task to do at least twice a year – and luckily it’s pretty easy. 

Looking after your gutters

Gutters will likely always have some debris in them – especially if you have trees around. Every now and again, you’ll want to clean out the debris and muck into a bucket to get rid of. Once that’s done, be sure to flush out the gutters and downpipes thoroughly with water from the hose (depending on water restrictions, of course). Flushing the pipes not only helps you make sure that they are properly clean but will also show if the downpipe is blocked. If that’s the case, you might need to call in a professional!

A clean gutter not only looks great when it comes time to sell your home, but also means that no water will get backed up and debris won’t wear away at your roof and guttering system. Spending the time and money on keeping them tidy and functional means you’ll have a trouble-free gutter for a long time!

Gutters and a pre purchase house inspection

If you’re looking at purchasing a house, be sure to get a pre purchase house inspection for a full rundown of the house’s interior and exterior – including the gutters and draining. While gutter problems can be fixed, it’s good to be aware of the potential repair costs you might need to factor in if you are wanting to go ahead with your purchase!

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How a property inspection report can detect water damage

It’s common knowledge that water and moisture damage is one of the biggest property inspection red flags. But what is water damage, and what should you be keeping an eye out for in a potential home before getting your property inspection report?

What causes water damage?

Water damage can be caused by a few different factors – including pipe leaks or bursts, flooding, a leaky roof, or joinery problems. It becomes detrimental to the structure of a home when water sits for long periods of time and causes dampness. Not only is damage caused by excessive water or moisture extremely expensive to fix, it can also be pretty bad for your lungs and health. 

Before purchasing any property, you’ll want to make sure there’s no water damage – as well as make sure it’s watertight so there’s no chance of any damage in the future. A property inspection report will give you the most comprehensive overview of the home’s condition, but before booking an inspection there are a few things you can look out for yourself. 

What sort of things should you be looking out for?

The good news is that with a careful eye, water damage can be spotted. When water sits for some time, it will leave stains, so keep an eye out for discolouration on the floors, walls, or the baseboards running along the base of interior walls. A helpful tip is to check out the basement or the foundations of a home, which will be stained if there’s been any flooding. While some sellers try to clear the house of any water damage signs, many forget about the basement!

Crumbling wood – particularly around windows – is also a tell-tale sign of water damage. If you see any crumbling or mould on window frames, it’s probably signs of efflorescence, meaning that water is seeping through to the area. 

The ground outside the property can also indicate any water damage. If the ground is uneven and drops away from the level of the foundation, it can be a sign of flooding. 

What difference can a property inspection report make?

While you can keep an eye out for some of these signs while looking through a home, a trained and qualified eye will be able to spot things more easily. A property inspector will give the home a full inspection from top to bottom and provide you with a comprehensive property inspection report outlining everything you should be aware of. They’ll assess the home’s interiors, including the kitchen, bathroom and laundry; as well as its exterior, like the roof and foundation. That way, you’ve got all the unbiased facts so you can make the most informed decision. 

Purchasing a property is a big deal – and a water damaged home can cause a lot of grief and expense in the future if you aren’t aware of it. To avoid any nasty surprises, always get the help of a property inspector before purchasing your new home.

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Keeping your home well ventilated: how a pre purchase property inspection can help

A home with sufficient ventilation is absolutely crucial – both for the health of the home and for the health of your family. But when finding a home, what sort of ventilation features should you be looking out for? And how can a pre purchase property inspection help? 

Why is ventilation so important?

On the simplest level, ventilation is about the flow of air from outdoors to indoors (and vice versa). And while it’s all air, the control of flow is super important to ensure that there’s not too much stale or damp air in the home and that everyone is breathing clean air. 

Ventilation is perhaps the most important way to control moisture and dampness inside a house – and it’s no surprise why that is so crucial. Dampness and moisture inside can lead to all sorts of structural problems for a home and cause mould in places you don’t want. Proper ventilation also means that things like dust, pollen, smoke and bacteria can’t get trapped indoors, meaning everyone is healthier and happier. 

What can you do yourself to improve your home ventilation?

The first thing you can do to keep your home well ventilated is to open doors and windows whenever you can. I know in winter that can be difficult, but keeping the windows open when it is nice and sunny means that as much natural airflow can get in as possible. Keeping interior doors throughout the house open also helps in circulating fresh air.

It’s also important to make sure you’ve got extractor fans in your bathroom, laundry and kitchen so steam and condensation don’t hang around – even if you’ve got an external window. Sometimes in particularly damp areas a home will still need some help to stay clean and dry. In these cases, many people use the help of a home ventilation system. 

A healthy home with ventilation

If you own a rental property or are building a new home, then there are ventilation guidelines you’ll need to abide by as part of the Healthy Homes initiative. These guidelines dictate all sort of things – the exhaust capacity needed for extractor fans in the kitchens and bathrooms, the ratio of doors and windows needed in each room, and the types of ventilation needed in every single room. It’ll depend on your home and the size of each room. Read more about the guidelines here

Ventilation and a pre purchase property inspection

Before purchasing any property, you’ll want to make sure it’s sufficiently ventilated to save you any health problems or structural challenges in the future. While I’m not a specific Healthy Homes inspector, ventilation is one of the big things I check for when conducting a pre purchase property inspection. A badly ventilated home is immediately a red flag. 

So do what you can in your current home to keep the air nice and clean. And when it comes to looking for your next property, keep ventilation at the top of your mind and get the help of a property inspector to check it before signing on the dotted line. 

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How a house inspection can spot what’s happening underneath a home

When a property inspector does a house inspection, they’ll be paying attention to a whole list of things throughout the house. While there are some obvious things that will always be included in a house inspection report (like the roofing or insulation), there are other aspects some might forget to consider without the help of a property inspector. All too often people forget to check what keeps the house standing – the piles and foundations under your property. 

Why is it so important to ensure your property inspector checks underneath your house? And what should they be looking out for?

What are piles?

Piles are the things that keep your house standing, providing the foundations that everything else is built upon. They are there to make sure that the weight of the house is evenly distributed across the land and soil it rests on. They also play a key part in ensuring the house is balanced and stands straight – because you don’t want an off-balance home!

Have a look under any house built in New Zealand and you’ll find that most foundations are generally formed by wooden poles or posts, or concrete piles with wooden jack studs.

What will a property inspector look for under a house?

No part of a home lasts forever, and over time piles might begin to rot; the weight of a home might become unevenly balanced. Older homes in particular are prone to pile damage, as some were built on tree stump piles which pose problems as time goes on. Piles can become cause for concern when they start moving, which may cause the house above to twist or crack. 

A good property inspector will look for whether the piles of a home have ever been replaced, or whether they might need replacing soon. They’ll also check that any new homes have foundations that meet Building Code requirements and are earthquake-proof. 

No matter what, they’ll look out for whether the piles are in a good, healthy condition and are properly braced. There’s a lot riding on these hidden features so you’ll want to make sure they are in tip-top condition!

Why a house inspection is so important

The foundations of a home are crucial – so why would you leave them to chance? While the untrained eye might be able to look at foundations and piles, only a trained property inspector can give you the entire picture about the state of what’s happening underneath your potential home. 

Re-piling a home and repairing foundations is a lengthy and expensive task, so you’ll want to know exactly what condition the piles are in before you commit to a new property. Ensuring the safety of your home’s foundations with a house inspection report means that you can sleep easy knowing you are on steady ground!

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Hidden costs in a home – how a home inspection report can help

When looking for a new home people tend to take a property at a nominal price, only considering which home is the most affordable right now. All too often, people forget to consider the hidden costs in a home and the repairs a house might need. But that’s where a home inspection report can help.

A house might be $20,000 cheaper now, but what if it needs its roof or cladding replacing in a few years? All of a sudden, you’ve got a house that might not have been the more affordable option after all. Factoring in the hidden costs of a home in a home inspection report is one way to prepare yourself for taking on a property.

Getting an unwanted surprise

Once you’ve signed on the dotted line and made the purchase, your home is your responsibility. That’s why any unexpected problems or repairs needed can be a shock to the system – and the wallet!

Years and years of life and wear can take their toll on a property – so it’s no wonder things need repairing as time goes on. While some parts of a house might last a lifetime, others might age quicker. It’s been suggested that the average house needs a 50% replacement over a 30-year period – an important thing to consider if you’re planning on purchasing any property! And while we can’t know if that figure is bang on for all homes, it’s certainly a big enough percentage to think about.

What parts of homes tend to lead to hidden costs?

The exterior of a house tends to weather the full force of the elements, so pay attention to the environment your home is in when looking at a property. Houses exposed to more wind, rain, or damage from trees will likely need their cladding or roofing replaced sooner than others. A property inspector will look at the materials used for cladding and how durable it is to give you an idea of whether it might need replacing soon.

Inside the house, things like flooring, doors, and windows will need maintenance because of wear and tear. Piping is another thing a property inspector pays attention to, as homes built mid-century with copper pipes are approaching the 70-year lifespan mark.

A hot water cylinder is also a common cause for concern – and their lifetime is often just down to luck. I’ve seen cylinders over 50 years old still working perfectly well, or some less than 20 years old that need replacing. Ensure your property inspector gives the hot water cylinder a look to determine what sort of condition it’s in.

To read about the ageing parts of a home in a bit more depth, have a read of one of my earlier blogs.

How a home inspection report can make a difference

A home inspection report can’t predict the future, but it can give you an idea of the repairs you might need to prepare yourself for when purchasing a property. Knowing the future costs of a home will mean you can make as informed a decision as possible – and feel pretty confident that no surprise hits to your bank account will happen anytime soon.

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Know the risks with a pre purchase house inspection before you purchase

When you’re looking for the perfect new home, it’s easy to get caught up in a bit of a whirlwind. It’s often love at first sight with a property. But love tends to make us blind to what might be wrong with it! Too often, people purchase their dream place in such a rush they might not realise it has risky elements – an inconvenience that could be spared with a pre purchase house inspection. 

What kind of risks will a property inspector look for?

When doing a pre purchase house inspection, a property inspector will keep the 4 Ds of construction in mind. Deflection, drainage, drying and durability are the 4 basics of any building or house – and I like to consider design as well. I’ve written more about the Ds in depth on a previous blog you can read here

While a property inspector will assess each part of the house separately, they’ll also pay attention to the house a whole. Is there a cavity? Is it made out of bricks, plaster, or something else? Is the drainage appropriate, or does the design mean that moisture will be trapped somewhere? Is the cladding fixed directly to the framing?

The biggest risks they’ll look for include moisture ingress, faulty pipes or wiring, drainage issues, structural damage, or rot. 

A property inspector will pay attention to the age of the home as well – especially considering many homes built prior to 2005 were designed according to now outdated building regulations. Generally, the newer a home is the better – although new homes can still have problems and mistakes too! 

Why do risks go unnoticed?

The problem with many of the risks I’ve mentioned is that they are often hidden to the untrained eye. A house may look perfect at first glance, but many problems are hidden so are tricky to spot without a thorough pre purchase house inspection. 

Finding and purchasing a home is often an emotional process, with people falling head over heels for a home that’s within their budget when they’ve found it. And while that’s great, it becomes a problem when it makes us ignore all the potential risks in the property. 

It might sound harsh, but it’s important to try and take the emotion out of purchasing your home and look at the property objectively with the help of a house inspection. 

Assessing the risk with a pre purchase house inspection

A property inspector isn’t going to give you a green or red light on whether you should purchase a property. Rather, a property inspector aims to equip you with all the information you need to make an informed decision yourself. 

Getting a pre purchase house inspection before you commit to your new home (no matter how perfect it might seem!) means you’ve got the best chance of spotting any risks or future problems. With all that information, you can then decide whether the house is the one for you.

auckland house inspection

The importance of an Auckland house inspection no matter what state the property market is in

With the fluctuating and unpredictable nature of the Auckland property market, it can feel like there’s pressure on purchasers to make quick decisions before anything changes. But when purchasing a house or property, it’s important not to skip any step in the process for the sake of saving time or money – particularly a house inspection.

Rushing the process

When the housing market is experiencing a boom, many want to get in while they can – particularly in Auckland. Some don’t factor in the cost of a house inspection in the process and skip the important step to either save money or save time. 

While this might be okay in the short term, I’ve seen it come back to bite people as time goes on! I knew a man who rushed through his purchase and bought a home without organising a house inspection – and ended up purchasing an absolute lemon that he ended up spending more money on than he initially saved skipping an inspection. 

The cost of skipping a house inspection

In 2018 and 2019, I fielded so many calls from people who’d purchased homes in the 2014 Auckland boom without getting a house inspection. Several years later, they were wanting to get an inspection after realising the property had several problems that they’d only just become aware of. Unfortunately, a house inspection after the purchase is complete is nowhere near as valuable as it is before. 

For these customers, it was upsetting knowing they’d purchased a home with problems they could have prevented, but even tougher knowing they’d paid way too much for their house. Getting a pre purchase house inspection before signing on the dotted line would have helped to avoid all that annoyance!

Protecting you and your home in 2021

No matter what happens in the Auckland property market this year (and I’m not going to get into the business of predicting it!) a house inspection is an absolute must. While it might feel right to take advantage of a boom and purchase a house while you can, rushing the process will only cause you a headache – both personally and financially – down the line. 

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Why security matters even after your house inspection

One of the more difficult realities of being a home-owner is dealing with burglars. While we can cross our fingers it won’t happen to us and lock our doors, I’ve learned that locks only keep honest people out! And while a property inspector may assess the security of a property during a house inspection, security is something that you should keep on your mind long after you’ve moved in.

As we approach the busy summer season, many people are heading out of town to the beach and city homes will be left unattended. Luckily, there are a few things you can do that will not only decrease your chance of being robbed, but also make the whole insurance process easier if it does happen to you. 

That pesky but important word – insurance

While we like to hope it won’t happen, if you are burgled you’ll want to make the insurance process as easy as possible. Insurers don’t go handing out their money willy nilly, so they’ll need proof for the value of everything that’s been stolen. 

The easiest way to deal with this is to take note of the serial numbers of your belongings before they get stolen. Not every item will have a serial number, but big things like kitchen appliances and any bits of technology will. I tell my clients to take some time after they’ve unpacked their belongings in their new home to go round with their phone and take photos of any serial numbers. It’s a good idea to take a photo of any new appliances you get after you’ve moved in as well (particularly after Christmas!). 

Doing this makes it easier for your insurance provider to pay out. Knowing the exact model of an appliance in particular means you’re more likely to get paid the exact value of your stolen item – and not some cheaper alternative. And while taking note of an item’s serial number doesn’t make it less likely to be stolen, it does mean police might be able to identify stolen goods and get them returned to you!

Securing your home while you’re away

The leadup to Christmas and summer is the perfect time to double check your home security. To make your home off-putting for burglars while you’re away, you should:

  • Ensure your locks are all working correctly. Secure locks can definitely stop the opportunist burglar. 
  • Double check your security alarms are working correctly. Alarms stop burglars being inside for a long time – the quicker your alarm goes off the less time they have to rifle through your stuff!
  • Consider security cameras in high risk parts of your property. While they won’t stop burglars, they can give the police helpful leads or a place to start.  
  • Download helpful tracker apps. If you’re an Apple owner, using FindMyiPhone or FindMyiPad might come in very handy (that’s how I ended up finding the guys who broke into my house!)
  • Don’t advertise your absence. Think about how your home looks from the outside – closed curtains during the day are a sure sign for a burglar that people are away!
  • Call on a neighbour or friend you trust to come round every now and again while you’re away and give the house some life – another way to deter burglars. 
  • For other security tips, have a look at one of my previous blogs.

Keeping security in mind long after your house inspection 

There are some aspects of security a property inspector can pick up on in a house inspection – like locks and windows. But security is something you need to consider all the time, particularly when you’re away from your home on holiday. Taking the steps to make your home off-putting for burglars and preparing for if it does happen will save you a lot of hassle in the long run, as well as ensuring you can relax properly on any summer holidays!

Speaking of holidays, I’ll be enjoying my Christmas break and will be unavailable until the 4th January. I hope you have a happy holiday with family and friends, and look forward to seeing you all in 2021. 

home inspection report

Outside looking in: what external features are included in a home inspection report?

The name ‘home inspection report’ implies that much of the focus of our work is on the home itself – but that isn’t the case! When it comes to inspecting a home properly, there are plenty of things happening outside the house itself that a property inspector will pay attention to. 

While it can feel like more is being built up than out at the moment, there are still plenty of homes on the market with at least a little land. Here, we’ve outlined some of the things outside the building that your property inspector will be looking at.

Decks

Even if decks met the Building Code requirements when they were built, many can still age quickly if they’re made with low quality materials. If the deck of a home you’re looking at isn’t up to par, replacement and maintenance costs can quickly add up – so you’ll want to know about it before you purchase! Besides the deck itself, a property inspector will also look out for whether the deck is correctly attached to the home, whether it meets the required distance to property boundaries, and whether the decking might impact the title for a cross-lease property (although you’ll need to check this against the documentation yourself). 

Boundary fencing

Fences generally mark the outer limits of your property, but they’re still just as important to check – particularly if you’ve got pets you want to keep in and other things you want to keep out! You want to be sure boundary fencing is sturdy, tall enough, made with suitable materials to stand the weather and test of time. 

If a fence does need to be repaired or remade, it will be something you’ll have to agree with your neighbour about and you’ll normally have to split the cost. So, it’s important to find out in your property inspection whether the fencing will need work anytime soon – as you will need to factor the cost into your purchase. 

Pools

Pools are awesome to have in the summer months (or in the winter months too if you’re brave!) but they do require special care and extra compliance. While pools have to be checked every three years by a qualified pool inspector as part of a special purpose inspection, I still tend to give pool pumps a quick look during a property inspection and advise on what might be a problem when it comes to your next official inspection. 

Pools require strict fencing and safety measures that are frequently updated, as well as internal design features that make swimming safe. If any features aren’t up to scratch, you could be dealing with a hefty fixer-upper when it comes time to your next inspection!

Gardens and paving

While backyard work probably isn’t going to be a dealbreaker with your property, there are many hidden costs that you might be unaware of without a home inspection report. Paving, for example, sounds simple. But over the years I’ve seen plenty of irregular and sloped paving that causes carnage with water drainage. I’ll always check for correct cess pit installations as well.

How a home inspection report makes a difference

We often say that a home inspection report helps you spot the problems in a property hidden beneath the surface – but an inspection is also helpful in spotting the things outside the home in plain sight! A home inspection report will provide you with a snapshot of your potential home, meaning you can make your commitment with all the information you need. 

Need an inspection? Get a free quote below.

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