If you’re looking to buy a home, it’s important that you don’t skip over the home inspection. Inspections vary based on the type of property you’re buying, but the goal is the same: to save you from finding any surprise deficiencies with the home. A home inspector will make sure that the home is safe for living and will inform you of any major issues the home may have. The National Association of Realtors provides a useful article on their blog detailing what a home inspection should cover, so here is a list of things to make sure that your inspector covers.
An inspector should examine the structure of the home, making sure that the skeleton of the home is secure and can stand up to nature’s elements. The structure of the home should include the skeleton, foundation, and framing.
The inspector should also look at the exterior of the home, including sidewalks, driveways, steps, windows, doors, the home’s siding, trim, and surface drainage. The inspector should also examine all attached porches, decks, and balconies, to make sure that they are secure and sound. The inspector should check to make sure that the roof has been well maintained and will efficiently protect the rest of the home from rain, snow, and nature’s other elements. Ask the inspector to take note of the roof’s age, conditions of flashing, roof drainage systems (pooling water), buckled shingles, loose gutters and downspouts, skylight, and chimneys as well.
Make sure that the inspector thoroughly examines water supply and drainage systems, water heating equipment, and fuel storage systems. (This includes drainage pumps and sump pumps). Poor water pressure, banging pipes, rust spots, or corrosion can indicate problems, and are things that a good home inspector should inform you of.
The home inspector should also make sure that the electrical wiring in the home is safe. He should note the condition of service entrance wires, service panels, breakers and fuses, and disconnects, and also take note of the number of outlets in each room.
Additionally, the home’s heating system, vent system, flues, and chimneys should be inspected. And the inspector should let you know the age of water heater, whether the size is adequate for the house, speed of recovery, and energy rating.
Similarly, your inspector should describe your home cooling system, its energy source, and inspect the central and through-wall cooling equipment. He should consider the age and energy rating of the system as well.
In the interior of the home, an inspector should closely examine walls, ceilings, floors, steps, stairways, railings, countertops, cabinets, garage doors, and garage door systems. Careful inspection of these items should reveal issues with the home (if there are any) such as, plumbing leaks, insect damage, rot, construction defects, and more.
Also, an inspector should look at the energy efficiency of the home. He should ensure that there is adequate insulation and ventilation in the attic and in unfinished areas such as crawlspaces. He should also look for proper, secured insulation in walls and make sure that the insulation is appropriate for the climate. Excess moisture in the home can lead to mold and water damage, so it is important to have these items checked.
For more information regarding home inspections, check out the original article from The National Association of Realtors here.