Buying a home is a large investment, and you should make sure you know the condition of the home you are purchasing. The best way to do this is with a home inspection by a certified professional. Although a home may seem perfect at first glance, inspectors can reveal flaws both small and large. These problems may lead to more negotiation on price, or they may be serious enough to warrant walking away from the home entirely. It is important that the home is up to code, and a good inspector should make you aware of all problems, whether major or minor.
The structure and foundation of the house is one of the most important things for an inspector to examine. An inspector will do this by probing several areas for signs of deterioration in both the frame of the home and the foundation. A good inspector should examine the entire home, including crawl spaces and attics.
The exterior components of a home must be thoroughly examined, including doors, windows, porches and decks. Cracked or poorly insulated windows may raise red flags. Additionally, the inspector will look for decks that are not properly secured to the ground and the home. The exterior inspection should also include driveways and paths. However, this inspection does not include fencing, soil conditions or accessories like awnings and shutters.
The home inspector should thoroughly examine the roof of the home, as a bad roof can cause significant and costly problems for the homeowner. The inspector should look for popped shingles and improper drainage systems. Additionally, he should examine the chimney and any skylights for problems. The inspector will examine the interior portion of fireplaces during the interior inspection.
The inspector will thoroughly inspect plumbing, electrical and heating systems. Additionally, if the home has an air-conditioning system, this should be included as well. Problems may arise from exposed wires, leaking pipes or an old hot water heater. Many of these repairs can be costly, so a detailed inspection is necessary.
The inspector needs to examine the interior of the home carefully, especially the kitchen and laundry room. Improperly mounted appliances can be dangerous, as can broken or unstable cabinetry. During the interior inspection she should also look at stairs, railings, walls, and ceilings. However, she is not required to examine paint, carpeting or window treatments.
Insuulation and Mold
The inspector will need to check to make sure the home is well insulated, and up to code. This includes making sure that the attic of the home is properly ventilated. Additionally, he will check for the presence of mold or water damage, which can be expensive to repair and an overwhelming problem for new homeowners.
Jan DeVille is a writer, photographer, and video editor/videographer. Her work has appeared in numerous publications over the last five years, including Relix Magazine and Real Simple Magazine. DeVille graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcast journalism. She currently lives and works in Nashville.