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An Easy Guide to Home Inspections

An Easy Guide to Home Inspections

An Easy Guide to Home Inspections

The term “pig in a poke” refers to buying something sight unseen. This practice can prove disappointing enough for, say, small online purchases, but when it applies to the biggest investment you can make — your next home — it can lead to outright disaster. Who knows that kinds of damage, instability, or safety issues might be lurking under that pristine outward appearance? A professional home inspector does, which is why this professional plays such a key role in the home buying process. Here’s a general overview of how home inspections work, what they can reveal, and what you should do if they spot trouble.

Hiring the Home Inspector

All home inspectors are not created equal, and not all of them may have your best interests at heart. This is especially true if the seller has already picked out a home inspector for your use. You’re better off bringing in your own home inspector, someone who will search for potential problems as aggressively as possible, even if it means paying for the service yourself. Our real estate team can select the ideal home inspector for your needs. You will want to engage the home inspector as soon as you have a purchase agreement or contract. (Make sure that the agreement offers an “out” depending on what the home inspector finds.)

The Home Inspection Checklist

The home inspection is a painstaking, top-to-bottom evaluation of every major component and system in the home. Your home inspector will check:

  • Heating and air conditioning systems
  • Insulation
  • Roof and attic integrity
  • The basement and foundation
  • Supporting walls, beams, and other major structural components
  • The electrical system
  • Plumbing pipes and appliances
  • Ceilings and floors

Your home inspector may also recommend additional inspections by professionals who specialize in mold or radon detection. A pre-inspection contract defines the scope and details of the inspection in advance.

Documentation

Your home inspector must give you a written report of the inspection results. The report should cover every area and detail of the inspection process, so don’t be surprised if you receive a massive, 50-page document. We can go over the results with you and point out the most important points. Some inspectors may also provide video documentation in support of their findings.

What Happens if the Inspector Finds Problems?

An inspection doesn’t give a home a “passing” or “failing” grade; it simply tells you exactly what’s wrong with it. Don’t assume the worst if your home inspector uncovers certain problems with the home. Some issues are deal-breakers, but others may just be eyesores or minor annoyances. Cracked tiles, chipped paint, a leaky window seal, a dead wall outlet — these issues can all be fixed, relatively cheaply, at your leisure. But if the report reveals mold, termites, serious structural damage or unsafe wiring, you can and should ask the seller to fix these problems before sale.

Want to learn more about the journey of buying a home? Contact our real estate agents today!

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