Ask The Expert - June 2020

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Real Estate

What are the most common items to get flagged on the exterior of a home during a buyer's inspection?

First of all, inspectors love to ding sellers on the grading around their home. If you haven’t taken the time to walk around your home lately and look at the grade around the foundation, you will most likely find spots where the dirt has settled and is sloping towards the home. This can cause for water or wet walls in the basement, but even if that is not yet happening, it is not good for water to be draining next to the foundation year after year as it can create other foundational issues. In addition to grading, make sure that your gutters are clean and that you have long enough down spouts to direct water well away from your home. The inspector will be happy to see both of these things handled prior to the inspection! An inexpensive but important item that often gets flagged is the lack of caulking on the exterior of your home, including siding & window joints, sidewalks, concrete around swimming pools and driveways. There is definitely an art to caulking--matching the caulks and using the right type of caulking is important. I recommend trusting a professional to know where and what should be caulked as well as color matching your surroundings. It’s worth what you pay!

And lastly, chimney work most often tops the list of items that are called by a home inspector. There are many things that could be wrong—the inside of the chimney could need work and require a new liner, or the exterior brick could need new mortar, or it could need replacement. Chimney caps also deteriorate over time and need work done as well. Be careful to get a few estimates for this work as the costs and recommendations can really vary between contractors. These are all great items to pay attention to this spring and help you to stay on top of keeping your home well maintained for when it is time to sell! —Krista Wolter

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