What are the most common big-ticket inspection issues?

Roofs, to be sure.

Also furnaces, foundations, sub-standard plumbing or electric, and any suspect major appliances.

But all of those things are usually already known to the Seller — and therefore properly disclosed (and preferably, addressed before a home even comes on the market).

No Symptoms

Which leaves items that Sellers typically don’t know about, and yet are costly to fix if they’re in disrepair.

At the top of that list (no pun intended) would be . . . chimneys.

Whereas homeowners usually have abundant evidence of a failing roof — it leaks! — deteriorating chimneys and chimney caps usually go unnoticed, at least in their early stages.

I have seen many situations where, unless you were physically near the peak of the roof and looked closely — or took out a binoculars — you’d never notice missing mortar or deteriorating bricks.

City Inspector vs. Buyer Inspector

So who goes up that high to look?

Not most homeowners.

And not city inspectors, whose charge is much narrower — typically imminent safety threats in the home.

Instead, it’s the Buyer’s inspector who carefully checks out the roof and chimney, and documents any issues they find. 

P.S.:  Why are chimney repairs so expensive?  Because masonry repair is high-skilled work, and even minor repairs require expensive scaffolding.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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