After many Weeks or even Months of house hunting and visiting all the beautiful, polished, and shiny welcoming homes, you will need to order a home inspection to be conducted. It will help you evaluate the house’s condition and let you sleep safely at night before and after the purchase.
Why Do We Need A Home Inspection?
Most home buyers are tempted to skip this step, especially if the market is hot and you’re competing with several other buyers. Home inspections cost money and take time. However, if there are serious issues, more time and money are saved after a fair deal is closed. You need a house inspection to know what exactly you’re buying and what to expect from your property in the future.
During this process, an inspector will examine the house to determine its condition and the viability of all the house systems. After the inspection, you’ll receive a report on the state of the house. The report will contain suggestions for future maintenance or repair steps, or the need for additional expert opinions — for example, a structural engineer, should the inspection disclose faults in the building structure.
The Inspection Process and common Mistakes
In general, during a residential inspection, an inspector who is a specialist will observe and give an evaluation of the house elements and systems.
The role of the home inspection is to protect the buyer from inheriting major issues along with his purchase.
The below list provides an idea of what should/will be examined in a comprehensive residential inspection (which costs approximately $300 to $500).
bathtub, shower, sink, and toilet inspection. Proper ventilation and plumbing.
Water drainage systems and condition of outside elements, such as yard, trees, pathways, fences, decks, stairs, including cosmetic issues.
Electric box for condition and code, fuses, visible wiring, type and condition, and other safety issues.
Smoke detectors in place and operating, fireplaces, and stoves.
Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC):
Chimneys, vents, house insulation, and ducting. All furnace and AC systems are inspected for age, condition, and proper functioning.
(if part of purchase): Properly working devices and correct installation.
Ventilation and dryer systems; leaks and potential fire hazards.
Leaks, water pressure, faucets, showers, material and aging of pipes, hot water system, septic tank (if one exists).
Presence of wood-boring and other insects, molds, and fungi.
construction type and notes, visible foundation and framing condition, structure’s upright position.
Installation quality, visible damage, shingles, and gutters’ condition.
A good expert is hard to find. Choosing the right inspector is the key to a thorough and comprehensive report. You may search online, paying attention to reviews of that inspector. Ask your friends and family for a recommendation. An excellent source of recommendations is the real estate agent with whom you’re working — your buyer’s agent, not the seller’s agent.
The common mistakes to avoid during home inspection
Some buyers don’t attend the inspection along with the inspector, looking only at the report that the inspection company provides. This is a common mistake during the home-buying process. This is one of your first opportunities to fully take a tour around the house, with a house inspection expert, and see its features and condition up close.
The second most common mistake is to go to the inspection and be too afraid to ask questions about what you see. Some things that are common knowledge to the inspector might be new to you. Ask. Don’t be intimidated about asking for an explanation if you don’t understand what’s going on.
Another mistake that buyers make is leaving without checking the utilities. They might be turned off, but you should ask for them to be turned back on to make sure there are no leaks and that everything is connected correctly.
Buying a house will likely be the biggest purchase of your life, and this isn’t the time to gamble with such a large amount of money at stake. When buying a home, always get an inspection prior to signing.
What is not Covered During Home Inspection.
Typical home inspection would not identify everything that could be wrong in the property; only visual indications of problems are checked. For example, if the home’s doors do not close properly or the floors are slanted, the foundation may have a crack; however, if the crack cannot be seen without removing all the flooring, a home inspector cannot tell you for certain if it exists.
Inspectors will not look at the following items:
Inside walls (no drywall or insulation will be cut)
Internal pipes or sewer lines
In the vicinity of electrical panels
In addition to these exceptions, the result provided by a home inspector can be generic—for example, the result could indicate that the plumbing can be problematic, but then recommend to hire an expert to verify the problem and provide you with an estimate of the cost of fixing it. Of course, it will cost extra money to hire further inspectors.
Also, home inspectors do not check for damage to the termite, site pollution, the mold, problems with asbestos engineering and other specialist problems. But would likely give the recommendations if you have reason to suspect. Some inspectors offer additional radon testing; others recommend testing for asbestos if your house seems at risk.
Reviewing the Home Inspection Report
After receiving an inspection report, there are possible outcomes about how the situation may develop.
In the best-case scenario, everything is fine, the house is in exemplary condition, and no further work is required. You’re good to go with other paperwork.
A more typical scenario is that the house requires minor repairs. This may involve negotiations that the repair be done and inspected before moving along, or some price concession to account for your expense of making repairs.
The worst-case scenario is that the house needs major work – for example, the roof has exceeded its useful life and is in immediate need of replacement, or the sub-structure leaks and can’t be inexpensively remediated, or the requirement for new wiring for any 30- to 50-year-old houses.
You might ask the seller to vastly reconsider the sale price, ask for the full amount to fix the problem (s), or walk away. A full inspection should be part of the conditions of a home sale. Thus, if the inspection fails, any deposit will be returned.
Depending on the situation, consider the pros and cons carefully, and listen to your real estate team’s advice. They are usually more experienced and may explain to you the advantages and disadvantages better than anyone else.
A home inspection will take some time and money, but you’ll be glad you did it in the long run. The check can reveal issues you can solve before you move in — or else prevent you unintentionally from purchasing a cash furnace. It is an essential part of the home purchasing process for any type of buildings.
Finally, always listen to your own gut. If the doubts and uncertainties are too anxiety-provoking, it might be better to turn them down and start over.