Home Inspection 101
You’ve chosen the property, agreed on a price, and the financing is in place. You’re in the final stretch of buying a home! Before closing, you’ll likely want to do a home inspection. Even if you hire a qualified professional, it’s still a good idea to know what to look for. Here are some things to keep in mind.
Water damage is one of the most common problems uncovered during a home inspection. Rectifying it can mean anything from quick surface-level fixes to mold remediation to major structural repairs. Pay particular attention to ceilings, windows, exterior doors, and around sinks, toilets and showers.
Also important regarding water damage is the grading. If the yard and drainage is sloped toward the home, it could lead to dampness under the home and foundation movement.
Speaking of foundation movement, following are some telltale signs to look for:
- Windows and doors that aren’t square
- Large gaps above or below interior doors
- Floors that are obviously not level
Exterior structures are easy to forget during a home inspection but also important. Make sure to cover driveways, patios, fences, sheds, retaining walls and detached garages.
As far as the exterior of the home, you’ll want to look for damage to siding, peeling paint, stains, and vines growing on the house. Also ensure there isn’t any wood-to-earth contact.
Inside the home, don’t be afraid to turn things on. Check that electrical switches work and that sinks, tubs and showers have good water pressure and drain properly. Flush the toilets and check that they are installed securely. Turn on exhaust fans and check any appliances that will be staying in the home.
If the house has an attic, don’t leave it out either. It’s a great way to check for signs of a leaky roof and is a common location of other infractions, such as poor insulation, inadequate ventilation, and dangerous electrical wires. Also check for signs of insects.
Depending on your confidence in your own knowledge, there are some things you might just have to trust the professional about, such as faulty wiring, roof problems, and the heating/cooling system. Still, it’s a good idea to do your research and be prepared—and it will likely help you feel better about the entire process too.
If you’d like to talk more about the home-buying process, please contact me. I’ll be happy to help however I can.
*Sources: http://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/clean-and-organize/common-problems-found-during-home-inspections, http://www.totalhomeinspection.com/totalhomeinspectionchecklist.pdf