You found the house of your dreams, and the house looks structurally sound, and in great condition so why bother getting a home inspection? Although a home inspection is not required by law, an inspection can save you tons of money on repairs by identifying problems that are not easily seen.
What is a home inspection? Generally, a home inspector will go through the property and check all the major structures, systems and appliances. The inspector will start by checking the outside grounds such as the driveway, the porch and steps, Then he’ll check the roof, and the attic and or basement. Next he may check out the HVAC system to make sure that it’s working properly. Then, he’ll move onto the house’s structure, the foundation, the electrical system in the home, the plumbing, the bathrooms and kitchens and any other installed systems in the home. He should also check the windows, walls and ceiling and floor. The inspector may not follow the same sequence, but will generally inspect the same components.
A standard home inspection doesn’t include checking for termites or mold. Fortunately, responsible inspectors will inform you if they find anything dangerous or suspicious during the inspection. After the home inspection is completed, the inspector will process a report of all the findings. This report will tell you about the current condition of anything in the home that needs repair or replacement or could be a safety issue.
Should there be anything troubling in the report, you can ask the homeowner to fix the problem, or you can use those findings to negotiate down the price. In some cases, you may discover such a major problem that you won’t want to proceed with the purchase at all. (In fact, a good realtor will tell you to make your offer contingent on the home passing an inspection!)
A home inspection is an important part of the buying process. Even if the home turns out ok, you’ll get valuable peace of mind about your new home. And, if things don’t go so well, you may be able to save a ton of money on future repairs.
Author: David Torelli, Inspector