Definition... And some details.
A home inspection
includes a total house and property assessment. The inspector will look at the
structure, fixtures and appliances. He will look for potential hazards and costly
repairs. And he will often give advice to you about maintenance to reduce repairs
in the future.
The inspection will take about 2 to 3 hours.
The inspector will perform a thorough visual inspection of the major systems and
components of the structure, roof, interior and exterior surfaces and the plumbing,
heating, cooling and electrical systems. He will examine the lot grading and look
for any signs of water damage or dampness in the basement. The insulation and
ventilation will also be reviewed.
What an Inspector
Looks For... And your job too.
Your inspector will
point out areas of concern and offer suggestions. Always ask questions. That is
what a home inspector is there for. If he finds areas that may need substantial
repairs, he often can offer an estimate for repairs. You may want to verify the
cost of repairs with local contractors before agreeing to that amount with the
seller. You don't want to be caught short when the repairs are done.
you may be most concerned with the architectural details, wall and floor coverings,
modern conveniences and many other factors in your buying decision, the focus
of the home inspection is on the structural/mechanical/electrical condition of
the property. The inspection is designed to give the real estate agent and buyer
a concrete, unbiased way to detect some of the readily accessible major flaws
or deficiencies in the significant components and systems of a home. However,
it is not designed to, nor can it profess to facilitate detection of all flaws
and problems that might exist in any given home.
Report What is it? And what does it entail?
inspector should give you a written report about the house and some information
about home repair and maintenance.
Most home inspections
include review of the following items:
The Bigger Picture
The first step in inspecting a home is to look at the
neighborhood. Are there other homes of similar age and construction details similar
to the home being inspected? A comparison will give you a general idea of the
upkeep of the home. Have there been significant modifications to the exterior
of the building and if so, how is the workmanship?
He will review the exterior of the home from top to bottom on each side, noting
where the roof line picks up, the structure, the gutters, soffits, and fascia
are. He will look at the lot grade and the landscaping. Then, he will review the
exterior wall coverings (brick, wood, aluminum), noting windows, doors, etc. Most
inspectors start away from the house to take in the big view before moving closer
to the house, to examine more closely any details which may have attracted attention,
without skipping any items.
the interior, the inspection will begin in the either the basement or the attic
so the inspector can work top to bottom or bottom to top. This helps prevent missing
anything. The inspector will look at the floor, the walls, the ceiling, and then
consider any appliances or other items in the room. He will open every door.
Elements Typical problems.
The following are some
typical problems an inspector looks for in the major components and systems of
easy enough...so why do I need someone to do it for me?
Reasons for Hiring Out There are some pretty compelling ones!
it may sound easy... The professional report is important. This may sound easy.
So why can't you do it yourself? You may have extensive knowledge and may have
been involved in repairs or renovations; you might even be a building tradesperson...
but most people do not have the kind of knowledge and experience required to effectively
perform an inspection and analysis of a complete building. In addition, the excitement
and the processes involved in buying a home are not usually conducive to making
calm and objective assessments of the property you want. Your word also won't
carry as much weight with the seller as an objective, trained third party. If
you want maximum negotiation power, use a professional.
if the report reveals problems? What then?
every report reveals some minor repair and maintenance concerns, even if the property
has been well maintained, but these flaws should not normally affect your purchase
decision. If however major defects are revealed, you may decide to re-negotiate
your offer. And it is possible that you may decide that the nature of the work
required is beyond your means or ability and that the house is not for you. The
choice is yours.
Now You Know You Need a Professional...
But how do you find one?
5 of 9