We spoke with home inspector Martin Blebowski, who pointed out a few common problem areas both inside and outside the home, which industry players should be able to recognize.
Outside the home
The roof is the biggest problem area and can often be the costliest. Blebowski says to look at the roof surface as you approach the property.
“Is [the roof] even,” he says, “how do the shingles look, does [the roof] look strayed, is it straight? The roof also needs floor vents.”
Before entering the house, Blebowski says to also look at the soffit, which can be telling to the condition of the attic.
“The attic space needs to be able to breathe,” he says. “Is there enough ventilation? The soffit is usually perforated, so if it’s not, that’s definitely a red flag.”
Also ensure vegetation is not too close to the structure, particularly large trees, and check that the soil is not actually touching the home.
“If the siding or bricks are touching the soil itself,” Blebowski says, “the brick will deteriorate much faster.”
Finally, check the grading of the property. Blebowski says the land should slope away from the house so that water does not affect the foundation.
Inside the home
The first things to check, Blebowski says, are the lights. Turn them on and make sure they work.
Next, check the furnace. Blebowski says to ensure all vents are connected and sloping upward so the gas can safely escape.
Lastly, look at the electrical panels.
“Make sure there are no open holes and none of the breakers are missing,” Blebowski says, “so a little child can’t touch the pass bars inside the panel. [Ensure] the electrical is grounded. In Ontario, it’s always connected to the water meter, so you’ll see a copper wire attached to the water meter.”
And remember, whether you catch these red flags or not, all homes should still undergo a full inspection by an accredited inspector.
A growing number of agents are acceding to client requests to submit offers without inspection conditions and while that is a risky move at the best of times, there are some obvious red flags sales reps should warn clients to be on the lookout for regardless.