top 10 home-buying errors

In a recent survey the most common home problems identified were as follows. It is interesting to note that four of the top ten problems involved water. 

1.      Improper Surface Grading and Drainage.

By far the most frequent problem, it is responsible for the most common household aggravations, including water penetration into the basement or crawlspace and most basements eventually leak.

2.      Improper Electrical Wiring

A number of respondents found this to be a significant defect. This includes such situations as insufficient electrical service, inadequate overload protection, and amateur (often dangerous) wiring connections.

3.      Roof Damage

Ranked third, leaking roofs are a frequent problem. Old or damaged shingles or improper flashing and drainage will cause this.

4.      Heating Systems

Defect items in this category include broken or malfunctioning controls, blocked chimneys and unsafe exhaust venting.

5.      Poor Overall Maintenance

A common problem with a number of homes. Signs of poor maintenance include cracked, peeling or dirty painted surfaces; crumbling masonry; makeshift wiring or plumbing; and broken fixtures and appliances.

6.      Structurally Related Problems

As a result of problems in one or more other categories, damage is sustained by such structural components as foundation walls, floor joists, rafters and window and door headers.

7.      Plumbing

Though not ranked as a number one problem, plumbing defects still rank high. This includes the existence of old or incompatible piping materials, as well as faulty fixtures.

8.      Exteriors

Flaws in this category, such as windows, doors and wall surfaces, rarely have structural significance but may pose discomfort to the occupants due to water and air penetration. The most common culprits are inadequate caulking and/or weather-stripping.

9.      Poor Ventilation

In an effort to save energy, many homeowners have “over sealed” their homes, resulting in excessive interior moisture. Significant moisture can lead to rotting and failure of both the structural and non-structural elements.

10. Miscellaneous

This category includes miscellaneous components, Walkways, decks, patios, bushes and trees.