5 Frequently Overlooked Issues during Home Inspections

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When it seems like you've come across the home of your dreams in New York City, it can be hard to put on the brakes and think clearly about your upcoming purchase. You've already hired a home inspector, and they've given you the green light regarding the safety, climate control, plumbing, and foundational integrity of your new home. However, a home inspection also covers a lot of ground, and it can be impossible for even the most seasoned professional to catch every concern. Familiarize yourself with some of these 5 commonly missed home inspection issues and make sure to bring them up before purchasing the new home or better yet make them contingency in the contract

1. Doors

When a property is being shown to prospective buyers, it's easy to overlook door functionality, since they are often left open for viewers. However, you might move in and discover that a door cannot close or lock. This can become an immediate security issue if your front door is affected. Watch the real estate agent as they unlock a door, and check all outside-access doors. Test out room entryways and closet doors to make sure that they work. Open and close sliding doors to make sure they don't stick or squeal on the track.

2. Windows

Prospective buyers also take windows or granted, happy to be able to see the outdoors and enjoy a view from their new home. Keep in mind that good views and convenient locations are often sold for much higher prices. However, faulty windows can lead to major security and climate control concerns. For example, a window that can't be locked can serve as a potential entryway for criminals. However, a window that won't stay shut can let in cold or hot air, which can prevent residents from getting comfortable.

3. Wall outlets

While the electrical wiring might pass the initial home inspection, you might discover that certain wall outlets or even rooms don't have power. You can catch these issues early by bringing a device (such as a cellphone) and a charger to your early property visits. Plug your device into all wall outlets and make a note of those that don't work.

While a lack of wall outlet power might just indicate a tripped circuit breaker, it can also be a sign of a larger wiring issue. If you encounter these problems, make sure that they are addressed well before you move in. Avoid trying to troubleshoot the issue on your own, since this can pose considerable risk.

4. Leak sources

Water and moisture are some of the worst nightmares for new homeowners. Sometimes these issues spring up behind walls and underneath floorboards without the knowledge of the real estate company or former residents. By the time these issues are identified, the moisture might have already damaged sections of your home or caused mold growth. Check with the home inspector to make sure they have examined and/or reinforced water lines and plumbing. If your refrigerator has an icemaker, it can also create leaks, so make sure to check these water lines as well.

5. Noise from Your Neighbors or the Street

We recommend that you also have a noise contingency in the contract if you are not not certain of the neighbor. Many people view homes for sale during the work week and often when the community and your neighbors are not at home. This is a mistake especially if you are buying a condominium, town house or a single family home near a busy street. Make sure you visit your future home during the evening when neighbors are at home. How much sound is coming from the adjacent unit? Is the neighbor's TV or stereo blasting to a degree that is annoying? This could spell trouble, especaily if the neighbors are renting or are just plain inconsiderate.

Also if your future home is close to a main street, play ground or school, be sure to visit it during the rush hour, when school gets out in the afternoon. Can you hear the noise from these activities and are you ok with it?

Purchasing a new home in your favorite neighborhood can be an immensely fulfilling experience, however, it is important that you ask questions and get answers about your property before committing to a purchase. Make sure to request full disclosure reports from the seller, so that you can ask the home inspector to focus on key areas of previous damage. This disclosure might even help a home inspector discover an issue that you've never noticed before.