Monday, October 25, 2004

What do you mean I have a leak?

When I perform a home inspection for a buyer, it's quite common that I uncover conditions of which the seller was unaware. Most of the time, these conditions result from poor maintenance but sometimes, it can be from a lack of knowledge or common sense.

Imagine the surprise of one seller when I informed her that the brand new boiler, that she had installed in her garage, was an extreme safety hazard. If one of the cars that she parked in the garage were ever to leak fuel or fumes, the oil burner could easily ignite and blow up the garage and possibly the home.

Related to the above paragraph, one of the more common conditions that I find is the lack of a firewall between the garage and the home. Often this is because the garage was added later and possibly even constructed by the homeowner. In addition, the door between the home and the garage should be an approved fire resistant construction.

Foundation cracks, rafter cracks, rotting sills, plumbing leaks and wiring problems are some of the other types of conditions that I typically find and which the seller is often unaware. The good news is that there is a solution to avoiding these kinds of suprises for the seller.

By having a pre-listing inspection performed on the home, before it is put on the market, the homeowner can avoid the surprises that a typical home inspection uncovers. This gives the homeowner the opportunity to correct any defects or to disclose any pre-existing conditions which can then be reflected in the selling price of the home.