From our past experiences, we have surely learned the hard way that there are some very essential things that should be checked before signing the papers to buy a new home or before moving into a rental accommodation. Of course, you’ll have a professional do an inspection and look over the place to make sure the home is perfect in all aspects.

Even though there will always be a few cosmetic changes to make to a new home, trying to avoid costly repairs upon first moving in is always wise. Being able to save that money for a nice interior decoration is a big deal. The following are a few things we recommend checking before you sign the papers to buy a new home  or move into some rental accommodation and inherit all of the previous tenants past problems.

1.   Electric Shocks

electric-shock-1Many a times, we all must have faced this in our homes. When touching an appliance or a plug you suddenly feel a mild shock or tingle, a ground fault in the appliance or improper electrical wiring may be the cause. But if it is happening frequently, then it needs to be addressed immediately.

You should, however, take other types of electrical shocks also seriously as you don’t want to risk the situation becoming worse. Electric shocks are life threatening and should not be ignored at any cost. A thorough and detailed Home Inspection of all the electrical outlets is strongly advised.

2.   Flickering Lights

Yes, this is yet another common problem faced by us. Flickering lights may be a sign of a defective or loose light bulb. Sometimes, unfortunately, just replacing the bulb doesn’t solve the problem, then you will have to consult a professional. The fault may be in the light fixture.

This represents a poor connection somewhere along the circuit. If the blink happens through much of the home, a Main wire connection could be the one having the trouble.

3.   Electric Outlets not working

When an electrical outlet goes dead, no need to get frustrated, it could be a simple case of loose wiring inside. But yes, if you notice that other outlets are also not working, then there might be some bigger problem which is best if left to electricians.

Light switches and electrical wall outlets occasionally can become defective. Many people are afraid to tackle electrical issues at home, fearing that they will be shocked or injured. In such cases, it is safe to show the problem to a professional.  

4.   Burning Odor and Sparks

This is commonly found in renovated homes or rental accommodations where electrical wiring can deteriorate and become “worn out,” causing dangerous situations within the walls that cannot be seen. For example, the insulation around the wires sometimes wears out due to excessive heat caused by overloaded circuits or even household pests, like mice, can damage this protective outer coating.

As a home buyer or tenant, you should have complete details and information regarding the electrical wiring system in the house as to when the wiring has been done etc.

5.   Very few Plugs

This is surely an inevitable problem with all the renovated homes and old homes. They have just 2-3 power outlets in the whole space!!

And please do not be under the impression that installing new outlets will solve the problem, especially if you are a tenant.  I don’t think your landlord would appreciate this idea.

Professional Home Inspection HomeInspector

Getting familiar with the symptoms of common electrical problem helps you take wise decisions to prevent a dangerous situation that might lead to electrocution or property damage. You may be able to troubleshoot some of these electrical issues yourself, but many problems need professional diagnosis and repair.


Sudhindra Naib

Serial Entrepreneur with 15+ years of experience in Solution Management and Technology Leadership. CoFounded 4 companies. 2 patents held. I love innovating.