Homebuyers who purchase their own home in which to live are typically advised by their real estate agent to get a property inspection. Even though property owners are bound to identify any known issues about the property from a leaky faucet to property repairs you can't ignorea noisy furnace, an independent inspection is strongly suggested. For real estate investors who buy and fix real estate to sell or hold, it’s a requirement. I

n fact, many real estate investors pay for more than one independent inspection for a second opinion. Many items need only cosmetic repair. Others are ones that need to be avoided. Here is a list of five defects that must be addressed.

Roof. A professional roofer should be contacted when the inspector points out possible roof problems. From subtle to advanced wear, a faulty roof that needs replacement may have caused internal damage due to water leaks and can cost thousands to replace.

Basement. Thoroughly check the basement for any signs of water intrusion. Mildew, mold and a damp odor are signs of some serious water issues. Water proofing a basement can be an expensive affair.

Paint. Not necessarily changing the color from a 1960’s pink to a more modern taupe, but inspecting the paint for lead. Homes built prior to 1978 may have been coated with lead-tainted paint. An engineer can inspect the paint for the presence of lead and how to abate the issue.

Electrical. The inspector should remove the electric service panel and inspect the wiring. If there are signs of burning or improper wiring, the circuit box should be repaired. Older homes may also have aluminum wiring or worse, knob and tube wiring which can be a fire hazard.

Foundation. A faulty foundation can be identified by observing diagonal cracks along interior door jambs, separation along the outdoor foundation or cracks along the interior and exterior walls. Suspect foundations should be inspected by an engineer who can site the property and record elevations that exceed allowable limits.