What are you looking for in your next home? If you’re like most people, it might be a nice yard. A large kitchen. Or maybe even something more specific to suit your needs, such as an extra bedroom or a fireplace. The bottom line is that there are many aspects of owning a home that can make it perfect for you and yours – but before you take the leap, one important thing to do is have it inspected by a professional! In this blog post I’ll discuss what an inspection entails and why its so important to have one done before buying a new house.
1. What Is A Home Inspection?
A home inspection is an evaluation that determines the overall condition of a house. From the roof to the foundation, from inside to outside, your inspector will check it all to provide you with a report – not only on what’s wrong but also how to fix those problems and, most importantly, if it’s something that needs immediate attention or if it can be addressed later.
The goal of a home inspection is NOT to represent what the house looks like – it’s essentially you looking at the house through your inspector’s eyes and evaluating everything as they do. So rather than providing you with floorplans and photos (which would cost far more than even an extremely thorough inspection), we instead use our expertise and experience in homes to tell you what we find and how it might impact your home ownership.
2. Why Is A Home Inspection A Good Idea?
A home inspection is a crucial part of purchasing a new property for several reasons: First, people have different criteria they use to decide if a house is right for them. Some look at the number of bathrooms or bedrooms, while others are interested in the condition of any particular room or architectural feature. In short, some aspects that appear as deficiencies on paper may not be as important once you see it in person.
And even those important features may need further consideration depending on your lifestyle – there’s no law that says you must agree with the inspector, and any reputable company will allow you to make an informed decision after you’ve had the chance to weigh the pros and cons of what they found.
In addition, a home inspector can uncover problems that may have been left out of any disclosures by the seller. In some cases, this could be as simple as LBP (lead-based paint) or an obstructed view from a bedroom window – but problems with your foundation or roof are certainly not something you’d want to wait on!
In some ways, an inspection is designed to give you peace of mind – especially if there’s a lot of money involved in purchasing a new house. While it might seem like a few thousand dollars for an inspection isn’t all that important when compared to your 200k+ purchase, consider this: A small crack in your foundation could become a major headache later on. And no matter how much you try to take care of it, that one seemingly minor issue can turn into several thousands of dollars if not dealt with promptly. So while the cost seems small in the moment, don’t forget about all it could prevent!
3. What Does An Inspector Look For?
An inspector will go through every square inch of your future home – inside and out – looking for any sign of damage or issues, from cracks in the walls to lose boards on the porch steps. In many cases they’ll also include things like insulation levels, wiring problems and even ventilation when checking for bigger issues with your house’s overall structure and design…but their primary focus is to report any issues that could lead to future problems.
In addition, the inspector will review the house’s appliances and fixtures – including all major systems like heating and cooling (both inside and out), hot water and even your electrical panel – as well as documenting any deficiencies or concerns they find during their evaluation.
Depending on how much time you have allotted for your inspection, many inspectors will check common problem areas like attics, crawlspaces and garages to pinpoint any potential issues with your home’s plumbing, foundation or other elements you should be aware of before closing a deal. And if there are aspects of the property that may require significant work down the road, it’s always wise to consider whether those “hidden expenses” would affect your long-term happiness in your new home.
4. What Areas Of The House Does An Inspector Typically Cover?
Typically, they’ll start outside and work their way up (inspectors who start inside usually do so because of bad weather). Areas commonly inspected include:
- Foundation (the exterior, interior walls and even under the crawlspace)
- Roof/attic (checking for hidden damage like missing or rotten boards over time)
- Exterior structural elements (decks, steps, porches, etc.)
- Ventilation systems on both sides of the house
- Electrical system/outlets/lighting
- Plumbing system & fixtures*
- Heating & cooling systems*
As a home buyer, a full inspection is your best option. It provides insight into the true condition of a house that you may have never known about before purchasing it. Even if there are items you cannot afford to repair or replace right away, being aware of them down the line will help you avoid any surprises further down the road.
*Note: In some cases, an inspector may not be able to get inside these spaces due to access issues or lack of time during your appointment – so they’ll simply note what they could see from their evaluation and let you decide how important it is to investigate further.
5. What Happens If A Major Issue With A House Is Discovered?
First and foremost, know that even very serious problems can usually be worked out if the seller is willing to negotiate. However, if you come across something that seems like it can’t be fixed (or at least not easily), make sure to bring the issue up with your agent immediately so they can help determine where things stand and what options might be available.
And while some serious issues could cause you to walk away from a potential purchase (especially ones with potentially dangerous outcomes), keep in mind that there’s no way to know about every problem that could occur in the future – especially when it comes to older homes or those that have had few owners. That said, by thoroughly investigating any house before buying it you’ll know exactly what kind of foundation you’re building on…and give yourself peace of mind moving forward.