Things to Look for in a Home Inspection

Usually, by the time you schedule a home inspection, you’re at least halfway in love with a house. You’ve walked through it many times, and you’ve likely made note of any concerns you have regarding the home’s condition. The inspection is the last hurdle separating you from the house of your dreams, so it’s only natural for you to want it to go well.

Ultimately, though, you really don’t want a home that doesn’t pass the most rigorous inspection. Hire an impartial inspector who has no loyalties to anyone involved except you. The most qualified home inspectors do cost more than one you might find by happenstance, but when you compare this cost to the overall investment you’ll be making in this new home, it becomes clear that this is not the moment for penny-pinching.


Plan to be present when the home is scheduled to be inspected. Bring a notebook with your questions and concerns listed. Take clear, detailed notes of any key pieces of information.

If you’re able, we suggest making a video recording of the inspection process. Your home inspector can tell you important and helpful things about your home that you may think you’ll be able to remember, but when it’s 2 a.m. and you find yourself struggling to recall what that home inspector said about your water heater three years ago, you’ll be glad you have it on tape.

While no home is perfect (even a brand-new home can have flaws), there are a few serious issues you should consider immediate deal-breakers.


Improper Water Drainage and Water Damage

Anytime water drains back toward the home instead of out and away from it, you’ve got a real problem. Improper drainage leads to damp and wet crawlspaces, foundation displacement, dry rot, and mold.

Look for:

  • Musty smells
  • Walls that are discolored near the floor
  • Warped baseboards
  • Windows that are no longer square
  • Interior doors with gaps that show at the top when the door is closed
  • Slanting floors

If you observe any of these issues, we strongly suggest moving on to a new property. Water damage is difficult to assess without tearing into walls and flooring, but it is almost always breathtakingly expensive and complicated to repair.


The Stucco Home’s Vital Weep Screed

Stucco homes are popular for good reason; stucco is attractive, and, when applied correctly, will endure for a lifetime. However, when a stucco exterior is applied incorrectly, water will flow into the walls and interior of the home!

Here’s how a weep screed works: contractors know that water will sneak past a stucco exterior anywhere it can find a crack or unsealed home fixture, so they install a component called a weep screed around the home. The weep screed protects the home itself from the water by redirecting any incidental flow back down the weep screed and out of the home.

Unfortunately, when concrete close to the home’s walls has been poured too high, the weep screed becomes buried and can no longer function as intended. Instead, water will accumulate and damage the home.

During the inspection, walk around the home and trace the weep screed. If at any point the weep screed disappears into a concrete surface, wave down the inspector. The inspector should be able to tell you if the flaw you’ve detected will lead to water damage down the line.


Degraded Roofing Materials

The age of a home, the materials used, and the level of craftsmanship all must be considered when evaluating the home’s roof. If the home you’re considering has aged more than ten to fifteen years, find out when you’ll need to fully replace it.

The average cost of a full roof replacement is around $7,000. Ideally, your new home would have at least 10 good years ahead of it, but if you find a place you truly love at a price that can’t be beat, it might be worth springing for a new roof if it’s the only major repair required.


Common Roofing Materials

  • Asphalt
    • Life expectancy: 15 – 40 years
    • Red flags: blisters, cupping, and granular disintegration
  • Wood
    • Life expectancy: 15 – 40 years
    • Red flags: cupping and curling, lifted shingles, insect damage, rot, and missing tiles
  • Terra Cotta, concrete, and slate
    • Life expectancy: 20 – 100+ years
    • Durable but brittle, and susceptible to damage from rapid temperature changes
    • Cannot be walked on due to its brittle nature, so a very high ladder and binoculars will be required to spot damage
    • Cracking, missing tiles, and substandard repairs are all red flags and might mean extensive water damage

Substandard Electrical Wiring

Ask any fire chief: home fires started by older or substandard electrical wiring happen ALL THE TIME. While modern houses are usually wired correctly and amply, older homes often are not.

Warning signs include, but are not limited to:

  • Extension cords run from room to room
  • Exposed wires in any area of the home
  • Open splice wire using electrical tape or connectors (should be considered a serious fire hazard and must be fixed immediately)
  • Outlets that are not grounded properly
  • Aluminum wiring should be replaced and will cost thousands of dollars

These issues are the most serious and costly repairs you may encounter during home inspections, but your real estate agent will do their utmost to convince the current owners to pay for repairs. Remember, other potential buyers will encounter the same issues with the home if they have hired a skilled home inspector, so it’s likely that any sale will be made with due consideration to any outstanding repairs.

Pursue the home of your dreams by all means, but also be prepared to engage in some haggling if your inspection turns up anything serious. In the end, remember that accurate information and a skilled realtor are all you need to make a savvy decision while house hunting.

Listing of the Week

612 Hillsboro Road is a stunning renovation of a classic Franklin ranch home! Built in 1959, the home was completely renovated and updated in 2017 and now boasts new lighting, flooring, kitchen, baths and more. One realtor who previewed the home said, “this is very Green Hills, something we don’t have enough of in Franklin. Absolutely beautiful!” New sidewalks on Hillsboro Road make the 1/2 mile walk to Five Points/downtown easy and enjoyable. The rare 1 acre in town lot is another special feature of this updated home.


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July | Locals Supporting Locals

As we reach the middle of July, we are so excited to announce this month’s LOLO gifts! There are so many unique, wonderful local businesses in Middle Tennessee and we are so ready to celebrate them this month!

 

LOLO, Locals Supporting Locals, is an amazing program for your Parks realtor to give to you! Each month, a completely free, new gift comes to your cell phone for you to enjoy. The gifts are selected by county and are only for local businesses, no nationwide chains!

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How’s the Nashville Market?

How is the market? It’s a question our agents get asked a lot, and for good reason. If you’re considering buying a new home or selling one that you already own, the market trends and predictions are important in the decision-making process. Below is our most recent market update information for Davidson, Maury, Williamson, Wilson, Rutherford, and Sumner counties to help you make the most informed and beneficial choices possible.

 

 

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Listing of the Week

Custom home that is nothing short of grand! The stunning entry features a split bridal stairway. You’ll love each magnificent room of this home from the library to the two-story living room. The elevator offers access to all three floors for full accessibility. Plus, the 1,338 sq. ft. pool house is large and has a full kitchen. Last but certainly not least, the saltwater pool measures 24×46 and is made of gunite.


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How to Move With Your Pet

Moving tests the “planner” in us all. The details, the prep –  the lists of what to prepare for seem to be never-ending. But one thing that seems to slip people’s mind is prepping to move your pets. After all, they’re members of the family – so it feels like they can just hop in the car and go, too! However, depending on the type of pet and move – there is likely some planning involved. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to moving your beloved furry one:

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Listing of the Week

 

This stunning, well-appointed home in College Grove includes exquisite details! Dark wood beams, a fireplace, a built-in bookcase, tranquil wall colors, crown molding, and wood flooring grace the interior. Visitors are greeted by the relaxing front porch, and the back deck features a fireplace. Community amenities include a pool and clubhouse. The six bedroom, five and a half bath home also includes two bonus rooms.


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Local’s Guide to Nolensville

ABOUT NOLENSVILLE

Nolensville, Tennessee has attracted families for generations, not just for its beautiful landscape, but also for its convenient location, inclusion in Williamson County, and its low property tax rates. The storybook town makes you feel far from it all, but is just a few miles from Nashville, Franklin, and Smyrna, making it an easy commute in nearly any direction.


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Top 4th of July Activities in Middle Tennessee

 

In a town like Nashville and an area like Middle Tennessee, the toughest thing about any holiday is deciding what to do. Add on no work, no school, sunny skies and one of the most festive areas of the country? You’ve got a dilemma on your hands. Luckily, this falls into the category of “no wrong answer” – and no matter what you chose, you’ll be beaming with not just American pride, but Middle Tennessee pride before the fifth of July even gets close. Continue reading

Discover Home | Top 5 Dog Parks in Middle Tennessee

Here in Tennessee, we’re typical Americans in many ways – one of which is that we love our dogs! Public interest in dog parks is as high as it’s ever been, with residents clamoring for dog parks to be opened in towns that don’t yet have them.

This guide to the best dog parks in Middle Tennessee features our top 5 favorite pup-friendly destinations. However, if these locations aren’t central to you, it’s well worth your time to research dog parks in your area. Sometimes there’s a hidden gem just around the corner from you. We hope you and your adorable companion can get out and enjoy some off-leash playtime at one of Tennessee’s gorgeous bark parks!  Continue reading