A recent survey by the National Association of Realtors found that the biggest regret among millennial home buyers were unexpected maintenance costs. These types of issues have become even more pronounced in recent years due to more buyers waiving inspections when competing in multiple-offer situations. That same survey found that a staggering 81% of first-time home buyers during the pandemic found issues with their home right after they moved in.
Some of the most common issues reported in the survey were:
COSMETIC ISSUES (40%) – Cosmetic issue are issues that deal with the overall aesthetic of the house. Some common cosmetic issues include flooring, paint, landscaping, counter tops, and cabinets.
PLUMBING AND LEAKS (38%) – Plumbing and leak issues can occur rather frequently. These problems can include clogged drains, low water pressure, water heater issues, and leaky faucets just to name a few. Plumbing and leak issues can also decrease the efficiency of your home, in turn increasing your energy expenses.
WIRING AND ELECTRICITY (36%) – If you encounter problems with your wiring and electrical, you may experience power surges, exposed or frayed wires, light switches not working, flickering lights, and inadequate number and placement of outlets.
WATER DAMAGE (34%) – Water damage is arguably one of the worst problems to deal with on this list. Water damage will raise the moisture levels in your home, creating the perfect incubation conditions for mold, mildew, and other harmful bacteria. And if that weren’t bad enough, this moisture usually attracts vermin.
ATTIC MOLD (32%) – Where there is trapped air there is the potential of mold growth and the most common culprit is bathroom exhaust fans that are no longer venting to the outside through the roof or even worse, never were vented out. Reattaching the vent hose is a simple repair, but getting the vent out through the roof if it doesn’t exist yet will require professional service. And with any water damage as addressed above, the mold can be very harmful to your health and must also be addressed professionally.
These deficiencies are serious and can end up putting a significant dent in your wallet. You might be thinking, “Shouldn’t a routine inspection easily identify these problems?” and you’d be right. But the reality is that the United States’ housing economy is still experiencing an unprecedented seller’s market. As mentioned above, some consumers are even taking drastic measures to win a bidding war, such as waiving inspections.
ADVICE – Even the most diligent home inspection cannot predict every breakdown that may occur from normal wear and tear. To help protect yourself from unexpected repair costs, ask your Realtor how to purchase a home warranty at closing and learn what issues and items could be covered by that warranty.