What to Expect From a Home Inspection

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One of the things you should do before acquiring a home is to hire a professional home inspector to examine it. “Buying a home is already an expensive endeavor. Why would I spend hundreds more on top of what I already have to pay for?” This is a reasonable request and we do get this question a lot.

Prior to closing, a buyer is able to identify any major problems with a home through a home inspection. An inspection can be a contingency in your contract with the seller, so it’s obvious why a home inspection is important. As a result of this contingency, in the event that there are significant defects discovered during an inspection, you may withdraw your purchase offer, free of penalty. In order to let you walk away from such a huge contract, they must have some pretty serious problems with the home.

 

What is a Home Inspection?

As part of the sale of a home, a home inspection is a limited, non-invasive examination of that home’s condition. Typically, home inspections are conducted by a licensed and certified home inspector. A written report of the findings of the inspector is delivered to the client. After being educated about real estate, the client then makes informed decisions about the pending real estate purchase. Inspection reports describe the condition of the house when it was inspected, but do not guarantee its present condition, efficiency, or lifespan.

Is an Inspection Worth the Investment?

An individual homebuyer may make their largest single investment in their lifetime when they buy a home. Before purchasing a home, buyers should gather as much information as they can about the house in order to minimize unpleasant surprises. Inspections of residential properties can uncover problems such as builder mistakes and the need for maintenance to keep them in good shape. Homebuyers will be able to make informed decisions about their home by taking part in the home inspection process. It is possible to make repairs to a house before selling it if the homeowner is planning to sell it.

Costs vary widely depending on the size of a household and the region; they typically range between $300 and $500. The cost can rise very high if specialized inspectors are called in after a general inspection results in a finding.

Having an experienced, skilled, and thorough inspector is important, as they will examine and report on certain components of a home. This type of inspection typically lasts two to three hours, and you should attend it in person so you can gain a thorough understanding of the inspector’s observations and ask questions if necessary. Additionally, if you are able to see any problems an inspector uncovers, they will make more sense rather than simply looking at photographs from a report.

What a Home Inspection Covers

When you are buying your first home, an excellent inspector can even suggest routine maintenance to be performed. It is important to have a professional home inspection done before you close on your new home to uncover any issues. It may take two or three hours for the home inspection to be complete. You will receive a home inspection report, a service contract, as well as consumer notice from the inspector. It is customary for home inspectors to encourage buyers (or their real estate agent) to attend the inspection in order to ask questions and to discuss the findings.

Exterior Inspection Items

Structural Systems

Basements, walkways, walls, ceilings, and floor structures; grading & drainage.

Roofing Systems

This includes roof coverings, drainage systems, flashings and skylights, chimneys, and other penetrations in the roof.

HVAC Systems

Air conditioning & heating equipment; ac unit, boiler and additional components such as ducts and vents that heat and cool a building.

Swimming Pools and Spas

Check and examine your pool and spa in two parts: visually and mechanically. Construction of the deck and liner, as well as the piping and equipment.

Site/Property

Plants, fences & gates as well as yards; irrigation system etc

Covers and Structure

Covers and structure on the exterior including walls, parapets, trim, chimneys, foundations, slabs, gutters & downspouts, steps & handrails, entrance doors/locks, lighting, electrical outlets, faucets, windows, siding, siding and corners.

Termites

Termite activity is observed through a visual inspection.

Interior Inspection Items

Electrical Systems

Making sure your outlets are GFCI-protected, service entrances and panels, branch circuits, connected devices and fixtures.

Plumbing Systems

The food supply system, water supply system, drain, waste and vent systems, gas and electricity distribution systems, water heater, vent, flue, chimney, air conditioner, sump pump, and any fuel storage.

Appliances

Built-in appliances include dishwashers, garbage disposals, range hoods, ovens, cooktops, microwaves, trash compactors, garage door operators, and others.

Interior & Finishes

This includes the following: dry wall, flooring, cabinets, counter tops, and windows.

Living Spaces

There are many things to consider when building a home: doors, locks, windows, flooring, walls and ceilings, electrical outlets, lighting, ceiling fans, handrails, fireplaces, heating & cooling, closets, stairs. Laundry area – plumbing connections, electrical connections, dryer vent, floor, lighting, ventilation & laundry sink.

Kitchen

Surfaces such as ceiling, walls, floors, windows, sinks, faucets / sprayers, counters, cabinets, doors, range, oven; hood light; hood fan; electrical outlets; lighting; dishwasher; built-in microwave and disposal.

Bathroom

There are many different elements to consider, including the ceiling, walls, flooring, tile / grout, tub / shower, toilet, water flow / drainage flow, doors, locks, lighting, electrical outlets, GFCI safety outlets, and cooling & heating systems.

The Home Inspection Contingency

All houses aren’t perfect, so it is important to remember that. During every home inspection, problems with the property will be identified, and the prospective buyer will be informed of the severity of the problems. As they continue their home buying process, the home inspector’s goal is to help clients make sound decisions about their prospective property. If the client has any questions, concerns, or risks, the client would be well advised to discuss them with their medical professionals. Inspecting a house’s value is not about telling a client whether they should buy or not, but rather about helping them to fully understand what ownership entails. A homebuyer may negotiate with a seller to have the seller repair major issues or cover costs the buyer finds.

The buyer can ask the seller to lower the price if repairs are necessary or ask the broker to negotiate the repairs with the sellers. You can write out a counter offer based on your estimates by getting quotes from local contractors, but buyers must understand that sellers are not obligated to make any repairs.

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