Fearing some other buyer will snap up their “dream” house, some prospective homebuyers think they can save time and make a deal by foregoing a home inspection. Not a good idea. Home inspectors are trained to see problems and/or troubling signs in houses that may lead to costly replacements later.

Here are 6 things for you to look out for on behalf of your clients if/when your clients decide to skip a house inspection by a professional.

  1. Bulge in a washing machine hose – This is an emergency. A failing washing machine hose won’t fail…it will gush. Replace rubber hoses with braided stainless steel. Get a pressure gauge that hooks to the spigot or laundry faucet. Install pressure-reducing valves so that water pressure is maintained at 80.
  2. Stains around the bath fan – condensation is forming inside the duct and water is seeping back into the fan housing. Water could be soaking the drywall around the fan and could be ruining the fan motor. Investigate, insulate and run the fan for a longer period of time. Replace the wall switch with a timer switch. Replace the fan with a pre-wrapped duct insulation jacket.
  3. Efflorescence or white material on the chimney bricks means there is too much moisture in the chimney. A little efflorescence is okay, a lot is not. The flue liner could be cracked or broken and gases from the furnace, fireplace or water heater could be leaking into the home. Get an inspection from a licensed chimney sweep. Seal any cracks in the chimney crown with elastomeric masonry sealer.
  4. Melted grommets on the water heater can mean that gases are entering the house. Look for damaged plastic grommets on the top of the water heater. Get carbon monoxide alarms and install one on every level of the water heater, furnace and fireplaces in the house. Calla licensed HVAC repair service.
  5. Is there wooden decking directly under the door to the outside? Look to see whether or not dry rot has ruined the siding door, interior flooring, rim joust, etc. Divert water away for the door with gutters and install a bottom line about 4” below the door threshold. Never let snow pile up on wooden decks, particularly around or underneath doors.
  6. A water meter that never stops? Obviously, there is a leak. Look for stains on walls, ceilings, puddles on the floor and listen to the toilets as there could be a worn out flapper. If there is a leaking water spigot, get a new valve seat washer or replace the spigot.