Home Inspection 101: A Homebuyer’s Guide
A home inspection will alert you to any immediate repair issues as well as offer you an estimate of how much it will cost to keep the house in excellent shape. Let’s look at the home inspection process in more detail so you know what to expect and what the inspection does and does not cover.
What to Expect During a Home Inspection
Your real estate agent can arrange for a home inspection before you finalize your offer to purchase a house. The home inspector’s task is to search for any potential issues with the house and report on it.
A home inspection isn’t the same as an appraisal.
A home inspection searches for issues in the home, but an appraisal determines the value of your property. Another difference is that most lenders will want an appraisal before releasing funds. However, a house inspection is optional.
What do Home Inspectors Check?
Home inspectors look for problems on the property’s major structures and features such as:
- The basic structure: Examine for cracks or damage in the ceiling or foundation.
- Roof and attic: Look for signs of water damage, insulation issues, or damage to the chimney on the roof’s exterior, as well as signs of water damage, insulation difficulties, or damage to the chimney in the attic.
- Basement: Check for structural issues
- Plumbing: Good water flow, check for leaks or blockages, and test the hot water heater.
- Electrical: Check that the electrical system is grounded correctly and review the circuit breaker, wiring, and outlets.
- Appliances: Check that the large appliances and their connections are working.
- Garage: Inspect walls and ceiling for damage and test the garage door.
- Other systems: Check the furnace, air conditioning system, and sprinkler systems.
What don't Home Inspectors Check?
Because home inspections aren’t comprehensive, a separate inspection may be required to address these concerns:
- Lead paint: If your house was constructed before 1979 and hasn’t had a lead paint inspection, you’ll need to get one done before the loan will close.
- Pest or termite: If the appraiser or home inspector suspects the property has a pest or termite infestation, a pest inspection may be required before the loan can be closed.
- Well and septic systems
- Sewers Lot size survey