If you buy a car with 50,000 miles on it, you'd expect it to hav a few worn parts. But many people, especially first-time buyers, are surprised to discover that a 25-year-old home shows signs of aging, building inspectors say.
As a rule of thumb, according to Property Inspection Service based in San Jose, Calif., a house that is 8 to 12 years old will have at least one rotted fence post. A 15-year-old home will need some routine roof work.
Moreover, homes of any age will show hairline cracks at the corners of doors and windows.
Inspections usually will disclose items that need attention as a part of regular maintenance, rather than as a result of poor workmanship, the firm said.
In a study of 8,000 homes between 5 and 40 years old inspected last year, the company noted that 46 percent had one or more rotted fence posts; 42 percent need routine roof work; and 11 percent had foundations that needed corrective work.