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The Essential Guide to Home Inspections in Denver: What You Need to Know

The Essential Guide to Home Inspections in Denver: What You Need to Know

When buying a home in Denver, it’s essential to get thorough home inspection is crucial to ensure you’re making a wise investment. Here are 6 critical areas your home inspector should evaluate, along with insights on common misconceptions and a few tips for inspections on new construction homes.

1. Water Damage and Drainage

The single most important thing in a home inspection to watch for. Water has a way of causing significant damage to a home, from foundation issues to hidden mold growth. Inspectors should examine:

  • Drainage- Grading so that water isn’t pooling near the foundation. If there are French Drains making sure they aren’t clogged. Or asking a seller to install them if there are drainage issues.
  • Ceilings and walls for past leaks and water damage, pro-tip – using flashlights to detect hard-to-match textures indicating drywall repair.

2. Roof Condition

The roof is one of the most expensive parts of a home to replace. Inspectors should:

  • Review the roof’s condition, including checking for hail damage or wear that may have gone unaddressed.
  • Recommend to research prior permits and previous repair work to understand the roof’s history. You can always call in a roofing company to complete a separate inspection or seek a 5 year roof certification.
  • Gutters should be in good working condition with down spouts and extenders away from the house (see drainage above). Extenders are cheap and an easy way to help ensure drainage from gutters is away from the house. You want four feet of clearance for water from the foundation from gutters.

3. Window Integrity

Windows affect a home’s safety, energy efficiency, and weatherproofing. They should:

  • Be checked for proper operation, including opening, closing, and locking mechanisms.
  • Be evaluated for signs of water damage or seal failure.
  • Windows may have about a 20-year lifespan. And commonly one of the last things most sellers will think to replace.

4. Mechanical Systems

The age and condition of a home’s mechanical systems, such as the HVAC and water heater, can significantly impact maintenance costs. Inspectors will:

  • Note the age of the systems and suggest potential future expenses.
  • Recommend servicing or replacement timelines.
  • Pro-tip (*These items should have regular maintenance for you as the buyer once you own):
    • Furnaces have roughly a 20-25 year lifespan
    • A/C- 20-25 year lifespan
    • Hot Water Heaters- 12-15 year life span

5. Radon Levels

Especially important in homes with basements, radon testing can reveal the presence of this carcinogenic gas. Mitigation systems can reduce radon levels, a critical safety measure.

  • There are estimations that 75% come back with elevated levels for homes with basements
  • The E.P.A reports that Radon can be the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking.

6. Sewer System Functionality (*3 Big considerations)

Sewer issues can be costly to address. Inspections should cover:

  • Root intrusion.
  • Low sections that could collect debris. (*More than 6-8′ could cause debris/waste to collect)
  • Pipe offsets.

A belly or low point is not necessarily a deal breaker. Watch for the material the sewer line is made of. If it is Clay for an older home over time this could be a costly repair. Sewer replacements can be expensive. The most expensive part is usually the excavation of the soil. There is also new technology that can save from this needing to be done in some instances. One example would be a sleeve. If you have concerns about the sewer you can ask the seller to get it cleaned out and provide a video after to show the sewer is in good working order. Again regular maintenance on the sewer is never a bad thing as the future home owner.

Common Misconceptions in Home Inspections

Foundations: Minor cracks (less than 1/4″) are often not as severe as perceived. Inspectors look for cracks without lateral movement or water penetration.

Report Length: An average home inspection report lists 50-60 items, many of which are minor and don’t need immediate attention. These are items you can work on over time as the new owner of the home. As all homes require ongoing maintenance.

Inspections for New Construction

For new homes, it’s wise to conduct an inspection:

  • Before the final walk-through with the builder to address any issues.
  • Near the end of the 1-year warranty to ensure all initial concerns have been resolved.

Home inspections are a pivotal step in the home-buying process, offering peace of mind and protecting your investment. Don’t skip this crucial assessment, and always ensure you work with a qualified and experienced home inspector.

Ready to take the next step in your home-buying journey? Schedule a consultation with Mortgage Maestro Group for expert advice and guidance on securing your dream home.

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