After a homebuyer signs a purchase agreement, one of the next items of business is a home inspection. The inspection allows the buyer to see what repairs, if any, the property needs. The seller can have them addressed before closing, or provide compensation for the buyer to make the repairs himself. A home inspection also lets the buyer know of potential future problems and costs. Even if a buyer purchases a home "as is" and cannot ask the sellers for any repairs, he remains entitled to an independent inspection. Inspectors generally adhere to a checklist of items set by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, according to the Pennsylvania Association of Certified Home Inspectors.
Roof and Exterior
The roof and exterior of a home can prove costly to repair or replace. Because of Pennsylvania’s weather, including harsh winters and hot summers, roofs and exteriors can sustain damaged quickly. Besides finding existing damages and issues, the inspection can give the buyer an idea of problems that could arise with the roof and exterior based on the current wear and tear, according to Inspections Unlimited.
Basement, Foundation and Crawlspace
Another potential money pit, the basement, foundation and/or crawlspace need to have careful inspection for large cracks and any water permeation, states Pennsylvania Home Inspector, Joseph Michalski. Inspectors also check drain lines and other structural components. Evidence of water penetration can indicate past problems, and the inspection will disclose whether they still exist. It will also give the buyer an idea of what he might need to do to eliminate the problem permanently and avoid future costs.
Heating, Cooling, Plumbing and Electrical
The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors advises that Pennsylvania inspectors have no requirement to note the efficiency or the condition of any internal parts of the heating and cooling systems, only that the systems work properly. Because higher efficiency heating and cooling systems cost less to operate, the buyer may want to bring in an HVAC professional to see if he can save any money with a system upgrade. The inspection will also reveal how the plumbing and electrical systems are working, whether they need any repairs, and what those repairs might cost.
Doors, Windows and Interior
Inside the home, the inspector will open and close windows and doors to check that they work properly, and he will visually inspect walls, ceilings and stairways. The inspector’s final report on the interior components will show any necessary repairs. He also can give the buyer tips on maintenance for that particular property to reduce future costs, notes Value Guard Home Inspections.