Whether its new construction, a seemingly well-maintained existing house, or a move-in ready condo, every home should be inspected prior to closing. Buyers (and sellers, too) rely on experienced, certified home inspectors to find any flaws — both major and minor — the home may be hiding.

In a recent realtor.com article, Welmoed Sisson, a Maryland home inspector with Inspections by Bob, provided insight into the flaws that could be potential deal breakers for a homebuyer. Here are a few that home inspectors may come across during the inspection.

  1. Major foundation issues — “Foundation cracks, bulges, and other irregularities can be extremely expensive to repair, and may even involve excavating the soil around the house to stabilize the walls,” Sisson, said in the article. She suggested hiring a structural engineer to determine how severe the issue actually is.
  2. Aluminum wiring — Although it was widely used in homes decades ago, [solid branch] aluminum wiring in a home is no longer a good thing. “Problem is, aluminum expands and contracts in the heat more than copper, which causes the connections to loosen up, and then you get fires,” Sisson said. Keep in mind, however,  that stranded aluminum wiring is still used as service conductors in newly built homes.
  3. Polybutylene plumbing pipes — Used as an alternative to copper back in the 1980s, polybutylene pipes were found to be unreliable, according to Sisson, because they would become degraded from the chlorine in municipal water supplies. If the pipes aren’t replaced, there’s the possibility they will begin leaking and cause damage at some point.

In addition, the article discussed two findings that, although a nuisance, aren’t deal breakers for buyers: mold — which should be by identified by a qualified mold inspector to determine the severity of the problem — and bug infestation (other than termites), which can be taken care of by hiring an exterminator.

Source: 5 Scary Home Inspection Deal Breakers (and 2 That Aren’t), realtor.com (Sept. 26, 2016).