Last week, I went over a few inspections you may want to consider when purchasing vacant land. What about when purchasing a home? Certainly, a home inspection is essential, yet considering the age, location, and condition of the property, there are several other inspections worth contemplating. These inspections can act as contingencies, providing protection in the event of discovering any issues that might significantly impact your decision to buy the home. So, what are these inspections?
One inspection you might want to consider is a radon inspection. Radon, an odorless and colorless gas formed by uranium decay in the soil, poses risks when trapped indoors. In fact, it ranks as the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Therefore, testing a property for radon before purchasing is highly recommended. According to EPA guidelines, mitigation is recommended for any levels exceeding 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L). Even if radon exposure doesn’t concern you personally, future buyers might worry about it when you decide to sell your home. High radon levels could lead them to expect a costly mitigation system installation, making the inspection vital for informed decision-making.
Depending on the home’s condition, your home inspector or REALTOR® may recommend a mold inspection if they observe any visible signs or detect mold’s musty odor. A mold inspector will begin with a thorough visual examination, and if mold is found, they’ll collect surface samples for lab analysis to determine whether the mold is toxic or not. Toxic molds release mycotoxins, which can trigger allergic symptoms and, in some cases, more severe illnesses. However, it’s important to note that not all molds are toxic, and the presence of visible mold doesn’t necessarily indicate toxicity. While exposure to a high concentration of mold spores can cause allergic symptoms, it’s the mold releasing mycotoxins that poses greater health risks.
If the home has it’s own septic tank, a septic inspection is essential for ensuring the proper functioning of the septic system. It helps identify potential issues early on, preventing costly repairs and health hazards. By complying with regulations and maintaining the system’s efficiency, a septic inspection contributes to a safer environment, preserves property value, and provides peace of mind.
Another inspection you might want to consider is a wood destroying pest inspection. If you are financing the home, this inspection is often required, depending on your type of loan. The pest inspector carefully assesses areas vulnerable to infestation, such as crawl spaces, basements, and wooden structures, looking for signs of termites, carpenter ants, wood-boring beetles, and other pests. This inspection is crucial as wood-destroying pests can cause extensive damage to a property’s structure, leading to costly repairs. Detecting and addressing pest issues early on can prevent potential hazards, preserve the property’s value, and ensure a safe and pest-free living environment for occupants.
As you can see, there are a handful of various inspections to consider when purchasing a home, some of which I haven’t covered here. It’s important to communicate your concerns with your REALTOR® and take their advice when structuring your offer and contingencies. You owe it to yourself to feel safe and confident in your home – don’t waive the inspection contingency unless you are totally comfortable doing so. Happy Sunday, everyone. Until next week!
Eve Leombruno, 2023 MBOR President