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3 examples of latent defects that home buyers can easily overlook

On Behalf of | Nov 17, 2023 | Real Estate Law

Some property defects are obvious. Prospective buyers can usually see the cracked glass in aging windows, for example. Buyers will have an easy time factoring obvious concerns into any offers they make when looking to purchase real property.

It can be much more difficult for buyers to successfully identify latent defects. Latent defects are often easy to overlook even when performing a professional inspection. The following are some of the most common latent defects that cause issues that affect buyers after they acquire a property.


Rodents and insects can do a lot of damage to a home. They can create health hazards and destroy certain types of property. It is quite easy for a seller to temporarily suppress infestations or hide the evidence of termites that have begun damaging the property. Buyers could easily end up saddled with massive expenses because of infestations they did not spot during the purchase and inspection process.

Electrical issues

Many people will check the lights in different rooms or count the number of outlets in a home. They don’t necessarily look at the wiring itself or check to see if there are issues that arise during times of higher use. For example, the lights in the kitchen may flicker whenever someone uses the laundry facilities. Electrical defects can be very difficult to spot until someone has moved into a home.

Foundation issues

Some foundation issues are immediately obvious, while others may take months or years to uncover. Sellers can patch cracks, paint walls or shave a little bit of the edge off of doors so that the telltale signs of foundation issues go unnoticed during inspections.

Buyers need to protect themselves by inspecting properties carefully and hiring professionals that they trust to identify not just obvious but also hidden, latent property defects. Identifying issues before closing is the easiest way to avoid overextending oneself when buying real property. With that said, if issues do arise after a closing occurs, seeking legal guidance is always an option.