Home inspections are a standard practice when buying a home. No one wants to make the biggest purchase of their lives, only to discover a weak foundation, shoddy electricity and plumbing that will cost $10,000 to repair. A good home inspection can protect buyers from major expenses when buying their homes.
What does a typical home inspection include?
Generally, a home inspector will look at:
The Foundation: Is there evidence of settlement and/or seepage in the basement or lowest level of the home? Is the settlement uneven or are there cracks? What is the structural integrity of the home? What is supporting the home?
Heating and Air Conditioning: What is the insulation like in the home? Is there enough heating and air for the home? How do the systems operate and are they operating properly? What can the inspector see in the way of potential problems in these systems?
Electrical: What does your electric system look like? Is it safe? Are there potential hazards? Is everything properly grounded and bonded? Are all the outlets working?
Roof: What’s happening on top of the house? Are there any general maintenance issues you should know about? What type of roof is it? Are there skylights that need repair? Are there places that are leaking?
Your home inspector should also check out your:
- Lot and landscaping
- Hot water supply
- Chimney and fireplace(s)
- Termite damage/wood damage
There is a lot of ground for your home inspector to cover, so you want to hire one who will take his time and do a thorough job on your behalf. How do you pick a home inspector? Here are some tips:
1. Don’t trust an inspector simply because the inspector has a state license.
2. Look for an inspector who is associated with a professional inspection organization such as the National Institute of Building Inspectors, the National Association of Home Inspectors or the American Association of Home Inspectors.
3. Don’t only take your agent’s recommendation; ask for three recommendations and then really grill the inspectors.
A home inspection is one of the most important things you can do to make your home purchase a good one. Don’t skip this step!