The real estate market is starting to change. We are experiencing a shift from the sizzling hot seller's market we have had the past couple of years to a more balanced market. Home values are not expected to go down, however, they are not going to continue going up at the double-digit rates they have been. Buyers will begin to have some say in their concerns about the homes they purchase. This is especially true for the more expensive, big-ticket issues and defects that may be found in some homes.

Water Damage

Water damage can be one of the most expensive problems found in a home. There are many possible sources of water damage. It is important to find the problem, and have it fixed before it gets too bad, if it's not already. You do not want a mold problem as mold can affect your health and can potentially cause serious illness.


Let's start at the top with the roof. Replacing a roof can be very expensive. If you notice any missing shingles, worn or curling shingles, or leaking through ceilings inside the home, hire a roofing company to come take a look, offer a remedy and give an estimate.


Siding comes in many different types of materials these days. The main concern would be if water is able to permeate the siding. Another possible defect would be wood-boring insect infestation, such as termites, in the siding.


If you have too many defective windows in a home you are purchasing, it can be very pricey to replace them. Sometimes if you see a foggy window, the glass seal may be broken, and you may need to just replace the glass and not the entire window. This is a less expensive fix. However, if water is actually leaking or you can feel air coming in through the window frame, the entire window will need to be replaced. A few windows aren't as expensive. The big-ticket cost comes with having to replace quite a few or all the windows.

HVAC System

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. A home's HVAC system can have a variety of problems. Some may simply require minor repairs but the more expensive problems are having to replace a furnace or central air conditioning system. Ask the sellers for their records of when their HVAC system was last cleaned and checked. Be sure to get the HVAC system checked out by a professional during your inspection.


Be sure all the lights work in a home you are buying. If not, sometimes it's as simple as needing a lightbulb replaced. Sometimes the switches themselves need replacing. A home inspector can test the outlets to make sure they are all in working order. Many home inspectors also have hot spot detection testers with thermal imaging to be sure there aren't any fire hazards in the electricity within the walls. Your inspector should look closely at the electrical box as well.


Plumbing is another issue that can have big-ticket issues. Be sure to look thoroughly under sinks, inspect the hot water heater and inspect all faucets. As previously mentioned, leaking can cause expensive water damage.

There are many more components in a home that may concern you as a buyer. Be sure to have a professional home inspection performed to rule out any big-ticket, major defects as they can affect home values. Many of your concerns may be cosmetic issues. For example, if the carpeting is old and worn, it is not considered a defect. Paint is also not considered a defect, even though it may be costly to repaint an entire home. If you find big-ticket issues and defects with the home you are buying, ask the seller for repairs, replacements or monetary credit. It's imperative for today's buyers to seek out and find big-ticket issues and defects with the homes they are purchasing. An article on written by Evette Zalvino, These 15 Things That Fail a Home Inspection sheds light to more problems that home inspections can find. Some of them are more expensive to repair than others. You home inspector, real estate agent and industry-specific professionals can help you determine which ones are big-ticket and which ones are less expensive fixes.