There are different types of house inspections available to perform.
General or residential inspections will observe and give an evaluation of the house elements and systems.
The list below may be enhanced, or some of the points may be excluded. Nevertheless, it will give you an idea of what should be examined.
- Exterior (quality of water drainage, and condition of the outside elements: yard, trees, pathways, fences, decks, stairs, cosmetic issues, etc.)
- Structural elements (visible foundation and framing condition, structure's upright position, etc.)
- Roof (installation quality, visible damages, shingles and gutters condition, etc.)
- Plumbing system (looking for any leaks, checking the water pressure, faucets, showers, material and aging of pipes, etc.)
- Electrical system (checking fuses, any visible wiring, its type and condition, safety issues, etc.)
- HVAC - heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (inspection of chimneys, vents, house insulation, ducting, etc., checking if all the systems work properly)
- Laundry room (ventilation and dryer systems, search for possible leaks and potential fire hazards)
- Bathrooms (proper ventilation, leaks, water heater condition and other possible issues)
- Kitchen appliances (proper working devices and their correct installation)
- Fire safety (checking the smoke detectors, fireplaces, and stoves)
Pest inspection will determine the presence of the wood boring insects, different kinds of insects, molds, and fungi.
You need to know how much damage a termite population can cause, in addition to mold in wet basements and the health hazards that it produces, so it is necessary that you do the inspection.
If you live in specific risk areas, it would be wise to order an additional service, for example, earthquake, tornado, or flood inspection.
The specialist will help you to estimate the resistance of the property during the natural disasters, if they have a high probability of occurring in your region.
Your inspector will most likely recommend that you ask for a second opinion and another inspection if he has any doubts or additional concerns.
Do not procrastinate and wait for the last moment to follow his advice. There have been a lot of situations whereby the closing meeting have to be postponed because of failure to deal with the discovered issues properly and in time.
When the problem appears during the closure, it might be hard to resolve them during that time, especially if both the buyer and the seller have strong opinions about them.
Choosing the right inspector is the key to a thorough and honest report.
You may look for him or her online (most real estate websites have a list of professionals with their ratings and reviews), or ask your friends and family for a recommendation.
The inspector makes the conclusion regarding the scale of the problem if some items need service or replacement and if some issues are not yet full-blown but there is a good chance that they may, which means that they should be watched.
A good expert is hard to find, but it won’t be necessary for you to control each step. You just need to make sure that he looks at all the surroundings during rain or snow, and examines the attic.
It is quite common to have interviews with several inspectors to find out, in person, how many houses he had looked at. You will have the chance to determine if you are comfortable with his approaches and manner of speech.
A lot of buyers neglect to visit the house during the inspection and look only at the report that the company provides. This is one of the most obvious mistakes during the home inspection process.
Seeing letters and numbers is not the same as seeing the real situation. It is one of your first opportunities to fully take a tour around the house and see its actual appearance.
The second most common mistake is to go to the inspection and be too afraid to ask questions about what you see. Inspectors do their job, and some things that are common knowledge to them might be new to you.
Do not be intimidated about asking for an explanation if you do not understand what is going on. You are the one who is paying for his work, and you have the right to do it.
Another mistake that buyers make is to leave without checking the utilities. They may be off, but you should ask for them to be turned back on in order to make sure that there are no leaks, and that everything is connected correctly.
All the house inspection conditions apply to new homes as well as old ones.
Believe it or not, newly built houses can also have issues. Buying a house may be the biggest purchase in your life, and it is not the time to gamble with such a big amount of money being at stake.