How to Avoid a Money Pit: Be on the Lookout for these 6 Main parts of the home That Could Mean Expensive Repairs 

Many people think that serious defects in a home are easy to spot, but the truth is, often the most serious and costly problems can only be detected by hiring a professional home inspector. When you are considering buying a home, look for the following six telltale signs of serious problems...

1. Roof

There are several signs that a roof may have an issue that needs to be addressed.  Here are some things to look for:
-If you notice the roof is missing shingles, or that the shingles are damaged, it may be a sign that the roof needs a repair or replacement. 
-If you notice water damage or stains on the ceiling or walls, it could be a sign that the roof is leaking. 
-If the roof has sagging or dropping, it could be a sign of structural, or sheathing damage.
-If there is rot or mold on the roof, or in the attic, it could be a sign of water damage or a leak. 
-If the roof is more that 20-25 years old, it is time to consider replacing it. 

2. Plumbing System

Make sure you are confident that both water systems: the one that brings fresh water in and the one that takes sewage out are functioning well before signing on the dotted line. Here are some things to look for when checking a house plumbing system:
-Check the water pressure in your sinks, showers ad toilets.  Low pressure could be a sign of a clogged pipe or issue in the neighbourhood.  High pressure could cause hammering or pin hole leaks.  Pressure in most homes have a regulator valve. 
-Check for any visable signs of leaks, such as water stains on walls, ceilings or floors.  Or puddles of water in the basement or bottom of cabinets. 
-Check the drainage of sinks, showers, and tubs.  Also any appliances that use water such as a dishwasher or clothes washer.  Ensure that water is flowing properly.
-Find out the age and condition of the water heater to ensure that it is functioning properly and efficiently. 
-Find out if the home is on a septic system or municipal sewer.  If the house has a septic system check for any signs of damage or malfunction, such as sewage back ups or foul odors. 

It is a good idea to have a professional plumber inspect the plumbing system if you notice any issues or if the house has older pipes.  They will be able to assess the condition of the system and recommend any necessary repairs. 

3. Electrical Systems

Before you agree to buy you should make sure that you can run all of the appliances you want to and even power tools at the same time without having a power failure. You also want to make sure that the electrical system is safe and does not present a fire hazard.

4. Heating and Cooling Systems

Be sure to thoroughly inspect the heating and air conditioning systems in any home you are considering purchasing.

5. Bad Paint and Signs of Rotting

The paint inside and outside the house can reveal a lot about the condition of the underlying material. Check several places on several walls, using your eyes and a screwdriver for poking.

6. Cracks and other important signs

Cracks in a foundation can be a sign of a structural problem and should be evaluated by a qualified professional, such as a structural engineer or a licensed contractor. Here are some general guidelines for determining if a crack in a foundation is an issue:
-Size and location of the crack: A crack that is wider than 1/4 inch or that runs diagonally through the foundation may indicate that there is a serious problem. Cracks that appear in corners or along the edges of walls are also more likely to be cause for concern. 
-Age and type of foundation:  Older foundations, particularly those made of concrete , are more prone to cracking due to normal settlement and shrinkage.  Brick foundations may also develope cracks due to weathering or other factors. 
-Movement or shifting of the foundation: If the foundation has shifted or settled, it may cause cracks to appear.  This is often the result of soil movement or changes in the moisture content of the soil. 
-Other signs of foundation problems: If you notice other signs of foundation problems, such as doors or windows that are difficult to open or close, or walls that are leaning, or bowing, it may be a good idea to get the foundation checked by a professional.  

If you are concerned about a crack in your foundation, it is best to have it evaluated by a qualified professional.  They will be able to determine the cause of the crack and recommend the appropriate course of action. 

When shopping for a home it is important to have an experience professional working for you at all times.  Working with an Okanagan Real Estate Pro is your best bet as they have local knowledge and experience with real estate, homes and constrution in the Okanagan Valley.  They can help stear you clear of issues, and help you navigate the process to ensure you end up happy and in the best home for you.