In our area, most every real estate purchase includes a buyer-ordered home inspection, which includes whole-home, pest, and dry rot. We see these reports every day and there are a few findings we see over and over again in our coastal homes. Here are the Top 5. If you're selling your house, it's a good idea to make sure these items are taken care of if necessary, before the home inspection occurs.
1. Smoke Alarms - If the smoke alarms in the house are over 10 years old, they will get called out every time, whether hard-wired or battery-powered. New code says they must be replaced every 10 years. Battery operated detectors must have a 10-year lithium battery and a hush feature, and hard-wired units must have a back-up battery in place.
2. Carbon Monoxide Detectors - Fire Marshal regulation mandates that CO monitors be installed in any home with natural gas or propane, a petroleum-based heating source, a wood burning stove, or an attached garage. These monitors should be placed in the home on each level of the home and within 15 feet of sleeping areas or in each bedroom.
3. Water Heater Straps - Code says two seismic straps must be installed on the water heater to keep it in place in case of an earthquake. One strap should be on the top third of the unit and the other on the bottom third. Not having this in place can delay your transaction.
4. Dry Rot - Anywhere you have unpainted or untreated wood where water can make contact with it, you will eventually have wood rot, or dry rot. The most common places to see it are on the trim around the exterior of the house, especially on the corners of the home, the window and door trimming, and the garage door trim. It is also very common in decks and support posts. It's easier to prevent than remedy. You can prevent it by keeping your exterior wood painted or treated.
5. Broken Window Seals - Because of the stormy weather we sometimes have with high winds and rain, double paned windows can flex and moisture can make its way inside the argon gas seal within the two panes of glass. After time, this moisture will build up and make the window appear foggy and/or have spots in it. This not only hampers the amount of light that comes through the window, but also your view.
These common repairs are easy to fix and should be dealt with before your home inspection is performed in order to ensure a smoother transaction.