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Home Inspections

Purchasing and moving into a new home can be a very exciting time. Before any of this happens, one of the most important things that should occur would be the home inspection. This is generally completed before any paperwork is signed and final numbers are discussed.

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The Inspector

Every home buying situation is different. In rare cases, the inspection is done by a company that is hired by the seller. More commonly, the buyers are responsible for obtaining and paying for the inspection services. It is crucial that a reputable inspection company is obtained so they can provide the best level of service.

The realtor may provide some suggestions as to recommended and trusted inspectors to try. The right inspector will be someone who has been in the industry and is also up to date with current local codes and regulations. The business should come highly rated and getting reviews of previous clients can certainly be helpful. Finally, a good inspector is one that will provide detailed information when it comes to the inspection report. This should be more than a simple checklist of the things that were reviewed. In most cases, this is a lengthy and detailed report.

The Walkthrough

It is best that any home inspections be done with the potential homebuyers present. This will give them the opportunity to see areas of concern first hand and ask any pertinent questions. The inspection process is thorough, and can sometimes last from two to three hours.

Every aspect of the home and all areas are reviewed during this process. Many times, the inspector will begin at the outside of the home. He will inspect the foundation to ensure there is no structural damage. Drainage as well as any landscaping such as trees and shrubs will be looked at. The roof is examined as is the chimney. In most cases, an inspector will not climb up on the roof but may use binoculars to inspect it. The siding of the house, driveway and any other features on the property will be checked.

Inside the home, major systems such as plumbing, heating and wiring are all reviewed. A professional inspector will be well versed in all of these areas. This is especially important in older homes as many of these systems may be out of date or not up to code.

Once the inspector is able to walk through every room of the house, he will generally be able to provide some basic comments about the house before he compiles the report. This is a good time to go back to any areas that were questionable. If there is something the homeowners think was missed, it needs to be thoroughly checked while the inspector is at the house.

The Inspection Report

After the walkthrough, the inspector will need to create a detailed report about his findings. A good report is one that includes an overall assessment of the house with some recommendations and then goes through every system and every area of the house individually. This report is usually presented in a booklet format and is often available in an electronic version as well.

Once the inspection is received, it can be a great resource. It may highlight areas that need addressing before the house is purchased and can prove to be helpful in negotiating with the seller as well as in allowing the buyer to properly budget for any home repairs, additions or renovations that may be required. Conversely, it may show a prospective buyer that the home is not in good condition and should no longer be considered. Having a professional home inspection is a necessary and helpful step in the home buying process.