What do I need to know about home inspections?

As a buyer, you may have seen the house before making an offer, but you don’t really know the home until an inspection has been done by a professional inspector. An inspection generally happens a few days after both parties agree to the offer terms. The buyer hires an inspector to review the property and look for defects.

Virtually every property has defects – even new construction! As a buyer, the key is to understand these defects, determine which to ask the seller to correct before closing (if any), and to determine how to move forward.

In some cases, the inspection turns up a problem that is a “deal breaker” – the buyer doesn’t want to move forward without the problem getting fixed and the seller doesn’t want to or have the means to repair it. Usually, however, the inspection period provides an opportunity for both sides to negotiate the repairs.

Inspectors will generally review:

  • The structure including foundation, wall construction, roof construction 
  • Electrical systems including outlets, switches, and the electrical box 
  • Plumbing systems including faucets, water heater, and spigots 
  • The roof including roofing material and gutters 
  • The grounds for water and erosion problems 
  • Pest infestations 
  • Appliances 
  • Heating and cooling systems 
  • Windows 
  • Stairs 
  • Decks and patios 
  • Crawl spaces

However, it is important to know that inspectors can’t look behind walls and are not experts in all the aspects of the subject property. For example, an inspector may see that asphalt shingles are peeling from the roof, but the inspector is not a roof professional. In some cases, the buyer may want to call in another professional to see how bad the damage really is and how much the repairs may cost. I have professionals who can be called in to help!

In my opinion, the inspection is one of the most important things a buyer can do in the homebuying process! When you are ready to buy, I will provide you with inspector referrals who can do a great job for you or you are welcome to bring in your own. The key is to learn as much as you can about the home you are about to buy!