A Buyer’s Guide to Home Inspections

home inspection

A home inspection is done primarily for benefit of the home buyer. The main purpose of the home inspection is to document and report the general condition of the property. You might think home inspections are an unnecessary expense, but home inspections are critical. You don’t want to move in a house with a mold infestation or serious structural defects. To rule out these and many more potential problems that could cause you extreme financial hardship, you need to get a home inspection.

The stakes are higher for you the buyer than they are for the seller. It’s a good idea to not only get the home inspection, but to be present during the home inspection. You get to oversee the inspection and ask questions if you like.

What Is Covered in A Home Inspection?

Home inspections are done on what is mostly visible on the property’s surface. The inspector doesn’t generally do deep testing, but if an issue is detected, the inspector might recommend further inspection and testing. The main concerns of the inspector are safety issues, structural defects and building code violations. For example, if the property has a mold problem, this is a safety issue that has to be addressed.

The inspector also generally examines the home’s electrical, plumbing, appliances, central air and heating system, roof, electrical system and insulation. These are in the interior of the house. For the exterior, a home inspector generally looks at the foundation, doors, decks, windows, siding and the lot during the inspection.

It is up to the home inspector to flag any issues with the general condition of the house and give you a report.

Should The Buyer Attend?

Absolutely! Do your best to attend and participate in the home inspection. Ask the inspector if you can be part of the process, especially if the seller will also attend. This is a great chance for the buyer to ask the seller questions about the property. This way, the buyer gets a better understanding of the property’s condition even before the inspection report is issued.

Time of Inspection

You have no idea how well lit the property might be. It is therefore a good ideal to schedule a home inspection at a time of day when there is plenty of natural light. The daylight provides you with plenty of illumination to help you get a good look at any imperfections. Allow a minimum of three hours for the inspection. No one should be in a hurry.

If there are any issues detected by the home inspector that need further inspection, the inspector can recommend a specialist. For example, the general home inspector might not check rodent infestation, pests, radon, asbestos and formaldehyde. These require specialists.

Reading The Report

A home inspection report comes in form of checklist, rating system, narrative and more. The report has all the flaws and defects discovered by the home inspector as well as his or her recommendations. For example, if there are structural defects, the inspector highlights them on one section of the report

If there are any repairs to be done, call a contractor and get an estimate. Not all repairs are expensive. For example a missing doorbell is not nearly as serious as cracks in the foundation.

Problems discovered with the house during the home inspection can be used as leverage to possibly get a lower price on the house. Your realtor can advise you regarding this.


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