What to Expect in a Home Inspection?

If you are considering buying a home or perhaps just want to get an idea of its value, it’s likely you will be making an appointment with a home inspection company. But is a home inspection truly necessary? Is there anything in particular you need to do to prepare for the appointment? And, what exactly does the home inspection include? These are all valid questions, which deserve answers. So let’s get started.

Is a home inspection truly necessary?

A home is likely to be the most valuable purchase you will ever make and one that, ideally, you will keep for a long period of time. As such, you want it to be in good shape. Just as you would not buy a vehicle without test driving and perhaps taking it to the mechanic to check, you do not want to make the investment of a house, without having someone who is knowledgeable about the inside, outside, top and bottom of a home, inspect your perceived dream home. A home inspector will not just look at the physical structure, but check other elements of the home, as well. In addition, many times, it can be difficult to get a home loan without having an inspection done.

Is there anything in particular you need to do to prepare for the appointment?

No, you just need to schedule the home inspection. You are not usually required to be there for the inspection, but that does not mean you shouldn’t show up. Many home inspectors do not mind if the potential homeowner is there. Should you opt to show up for the inspection, ask if you can tag along, you will likely learn a few things about home building and maintenance.

What does the home inspection include?

Thorough home inspections include more than the obvious things like noting a rip in the carpet or a wall that should be painted differently—those are cosmetic things and are usually easily spotted and noticed by the potential buyer. Rather home inspections entail checking the following elements:

  • Structural –What is the status of the walls, ceiling, floors, roof and foundation?
  • Exterior – Are repairs or changes needed to the grading of the property, drainage arrangement, the fascia, windows, gutters and leaders, patios and decking, and any paved areas?
  • Roof and attic – What type of condition is the framing, ventilation and roofing material in?
  • Plumbing – Do the pipes, toilet, showers, sinks, faucets, etc., work correctly and is there any evidence of leaks or blockage?
  • Electrical – How safe and efficient are the circuit breakers, wiring, ceiling fans, lights and fixtures, receptacles and other electricity-based elements?
  • Systems and components – Does the water heater work properly? What about the furnace, chimney, central air system and any other components? A home inspection will reveal if all is (or is not) in proper working order.
  • Appliances – Assuming that these items will remain, the inspection will determine how well they work and if their being left is actually a benefit to the potential homeowner.
  • Garage –If there is a garage, then the walls, slab floor, garage doors and electric doors will also be included in the home inspection.

Home inspections are really one of the best things a potential homeowner can do. It can ultimately save you much time and money and allow you to make a purchase, fully prepared , versus relying on guesswork.

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