- When to Complete a Home Inspection
- The Importance of a Home Inspection
- Choosing a Home Inspector
- Home Inspection Checklist
Hiring a professional home inspector before buying real estate is never a wasted cost. Home inspectors focus on a building’s structural elements, while as buyers, we tend to notice the design and finishes.
Our comprehensive home inspection checklist leaves no detail unchecked. During an inspection, every nook and cranny of the home is carefully examined. A professional home inspector will visually survey everything from your roof to your foundation. They examine the exterior of the building, including the roof, gutters, wall claddings, stairs and decks. They inspect other exterior aspects as well, such as proper grading, signs of pests and any additional structures on the property.
Once inside, a home inspector will poke through the attic, looking for proper insulation and a sound structure. They inspect for signs of moisture or other potential problems. Systematically, they will work their way through the home, testing every system. They will also inspect the basement for leaks or cracks in the foundation. It’s important to note that inspectors are not allowed to cut open walls or remove flooring to check for potential problems. They must leave the property in the same condition as when they arrived.
A total home inspection often takes anywhere from two to four hours. The then generally follows up within a day or two with a detailed written report. Many home inspectors now insert photos of problem areas directly in the report, making it easier for homeowners to see what repairs need to be done.
When to Complete a Home Inspection
Most often, home inspections are requested (and paid for) by the buyer, before the purchase offer has been finalized. Real estate professionals recommend that all home purchase offers be conditional on a satisfactory home inspection. By adding this condition, only the buyer has the right to decide if a home inspection was satisfactory or not.
Sometimes, when preparing your home for sale, you may choose to have your own home inspection done. Once you receive your inspector’s report, you can pinpoint which repairs need to be completed before listing. The inspection can also give you a better understanding of your home’s current value. Having an inspection done will help you be better informed, making it harder for buyers to lower your price based on inflated repair costs.
The Importance of a Home Inspection
Having a home inspection can help you make an informed decision. You will gain a better understanding of the property’s potential problem areas. If any major deficiencies are discovered during the home inspection, you can then decide how to proceed. You may ask to have the issues fixed, or to have the purchase price reduced to offset the cost of repairs. If the problem is structural or too costly, you may even decide to walk away. By finding major issues before an offer is finalized, you can help protect yourself from unexpected surprises and expenses.
Choosing a Home Inspector
When it comes to choosing your home inspector, it’s important to note that there are different requirements by state. Regulations and licensing can vary from one state to another, so check with The National Association of Home Inspectors for more information. Your local real estate agent may also be a great resource for finding a reliable home inspector.
Before even placing an offer, it’s important to have a clear understanding of potential repair costs. With a bit of time and a good eye, you can carry out your own initial inspection when first walking through a property. If you like what you see, you can then make a professional inspection a condition of purchase. Below is a sample home inspection checklist to get you started.
Home Inspection Checklist
Indicate if each item is in good condition (g), damaged (d), or missing (m)
___ Bricks and masonry
___ Exterior lights
___ Decks, patios and railings
___ Signs of pests
___ Problematic trees or landscaping
___ Air conditioning
___ Electrical systems
___ Fireplace, wood stove
___ Hot water tank
___ Cabinets (kitchen, bathrooms)
___ Countertops (kitchen, bathrooms)
___ Trims, baseboards
___ Light fixtures
___ Heating/cooling source in every room
___ Attic (structure, insulation)
___ Basement (moisture, insulation, foundation)
___ Appliances if applicable
___ Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
What is a home inspection checklist?
A home inspection checklist is a detailed list that experts use to examine a house. It checks everything, from the roof to the foundation, helping buyers know about any problems. It’s like a to-do list for making sure a home is in good shape before buying.
What are significant red flags during a home inspection?
Big red flags in a home inspection include major issues like foundation problems, water damage, and electrical issues. Termites, mold, and a leaky roof are also warning signs. These problems can be costly and may affect your decision to buy a home.
What are the three basic safety concerns in a home inspection?
- Electrical Hazards: Look out for faulty wiring and potential fire risks.
- Structural Issues: Check for unstable floors, walls, or ceilings.
- Indoor Air Quality: Assess potential concerns like mold or other air pollutants during the home inspection.
What to look for in a home inspection checklist?
In a home inspection checklist, focus on crucial aspects like structural integrity, roofing condition, plumbing, and electrical systems. Look for signs of water damage, pest issues, and overall maintenance. It helps uncover potential problems before buying a home.