Why A Home Inspection?
An independent evaluation of the physical structure and the systems of a house by a qualified inspector is the best way to determine the overall condition of a property. Knowing the condition can help you save thousands of dollars in potential repair costs. A good inspector will not unnecessarily alarm you nor sugar coat things either. RealStar suggests a complete home inspection including a test for Radon.
You should attend the inspection. Find a couple times that fits both your schedule and the inspector's, then call your agent to arrange one of those times with the Seller. Home Inspectors get paid at the inspection so bring your checkbook. Most inspections take 2-3 hours. We do not recommend bringing children along. You should bring a notepad, tape measure and a camera to help with your decorating ideas. Feel free to ask inspectors questions but, also give them space to focus on the task at hand. They will usually spend time at the end summarizing what they find. You will also get a written report sent to you.
What is assessed? -The property's major systems including:
- Structural: Foundation, Sub-flooring, Attic and Crawl Space
- HVAC: Heating, Cooling, Insulation, Ventilation & Ductwork
- Electrical: Service Panel, Lines, Wiring, Fixtures and Outlets
- Plumbing: Supply, Flow and Drainage, Leak Detection
- Interior: Kitchen, Baths, Attic, Basement & More
- Exterior: Siding, Windows, Roof, Driveway & Grading
- Additional: Testing for Radon, Lead Paint, Mold and more
Discuss the inspection results with your attorney and your Agent. Determine which issues are important (ie life safety such as electrical problems). Keep in mind most Sellers will not repair torn screens, bad paint jobs, worn carpeting, etc. Why? Those items were there for the discovery and were obvious to the naked eye. A home inspection uncovers items that were not there for the discovery (not obvious) items the layman may not be knowledgeable of.
Just about every inspection results in a few issues that need to be addressed by the parties. Often times these relate to items that were not there for the discovery by a buyer. That's why they hire an expert. The most important items (and the deal killers) usually relate to life safety.
We recommend ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) and InterNACHI (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors) approved inspectors. These two groups have developed strict training criteria and continuing education requirements.