Purchasing a house is a significant financial decision. You are putting a lot of time and resources into home ownership and it is crucial that you put the appropriate amount of research and inspection into your potential house. Many houses are purchased after just a couple of showings. This may not be sufficient time to identify any serious problems, such as home water damage. Home water damage is an extremely costly repair and can lead to additional housing problems.
Always do an initial inspection for home water damage
Although it is illegal for a home seller to cover up any known problems, it still happens. As a home buyer, it is your responsibility to look at all aspects of the home before closing. This especially includes inspecting for home water damage. Signs of home water damage can indicate more serious of housing problems, so it can be helpful to inspect during your initial showing. This will prevent you from going through the offer and closing process with a house that has severe home water damage.
If the home water damage was covered up, it may be more difficult to spot it. This is especially true of the untrained eye. Some mortgage companies require that a house gets a full inspection. However, even if you are paying with cash or going through a conventional mortgage that does not require a home inspection, it is important that you still schedule on. A home inspection can give you a lot of insight on the expensive purchase you are about to make. Trained inspectors can look for both exterior and interior water damage. They are experienced in water leak detection in places you might have not thought to look.
Don?t ignore small signs of water damage
Some home buyers might notice a small leak or shallow water lines on the basement walls and think nothing of it. Any amount of water damage can lead to more severe of problems. For example, water damage that is not treated immediately can lead to mold. Mold spores are very dangerous and the mold removal process is complex and expensive. Mold may grow much quicker than you think. Mold typically begins to grow in 24 to 48 hours in an untreated moist environment.
Request further inspection of known water damage
Sometimes, home sellers will notify potential home buyers of previous water damage but will ensure that it was properly taken care of. It is best to bring in your own water inspector to ensure that this is really the case. Water remediation can get very expensive, especially if it has been sitting for many weeks, or months. Just to give you an idea of how expensive water damage can be, based on Floodsmart, a 2,000 square foot home undergoing 12 inches of water damage could cost more than $50,000. Although some insurance companies cover floods, most insurance companies will not cover previous water damage, leaving you to cover the cost of the water leak repair yourself.
Floods are probably more common than you think
If you have never experienced a flood, it can seem like they are not that common. However, floods are probably more common than you would initially think. About 20% of all insurance claims are related to water damage of some kind. Floods can occur from many sources, including damaging plumbing, clogged drains, weather conditions, or foundation problems. Always give proper consideration to water damage and the possibility of it being a problem in your potential new house.
Housing inspections are very important when it comes to purchasing a house. You can never really know the condition of the house and you want to avoid troublesome and costly repairs. Water damage is one of the most common insurance claims and repairs are very expensive. When you are looking at houses, always keep an eye out for signs of previous water damage. Schedule an inspection and request detailed information when known water damage has occurred.