Purchasing a home is one of the largest investments you will make in your lifetime. To protect that investment, many states require home sellers to disclose certain types of information to prospective buyers. Your real estate agent can request the seller's disclosure from the seller and their agent. You may also request that a home inspection be conducted on the property you want to buy so that you are aware of any potential issues. Once you have those state-mandated disclosures and the home inspector's report, though, it's sometimes difficult to know which issues should be repaired immediately and which issues are not significant.
Here are some of the identified flaws that should be immediately addressed. If workable, ask the seller to fix the issues identified in the disclosures or home inspector's report. For these significant issues, you will want to make the sale contingent on the repairs being made or on a financial concession to enable you to make the repairs right away.
Furnace and Air Conditioning Problems
Aside from the discomfort broken heating or air conditioning units may cause, there are some potentially life-threatening hazards associated with malfunctioning units. Particularly, certain types of heating unit problems may involve the emission of carbon monoxide, a deadly gas that is difficult to detect without a carbon monoxide monitor. Take the worry out of the issue by having a professional repair any flaws.
It may seem like a small issue if it's just one light switch that doesn't work or lights occasionally flickering, but it could lead to significant damage if left unchecked. Those signs could be indicators of a much larger wiring issue that could lead to fire. Have a professional check and repair the electrical wiring before it escalates into a larger problem.
Water Leaks or Drainage Issues
Repeated water leaks or drainage problems can lead to much larger, more costly problems, so you'll want these issues addressed promptly. Water resting against a foundation can lead to long-term structural damage. Water leaks can indicate a roofing issue that can lead to an unstable roof and ceiling. Don't take chances with these, get them checked and fixed.
If the home inspector finds Creosote build up in your prospective home's chimney, get it cleaned right away. The by-product can accumulate in the chimney and ignite, causing extensive damage to your home and danger to your family.
If you have any questions about whether certain identified flaws should be immediately addressed, consult with a contractor, home inspector or other building professional.