Buyer's Guide To Home Inspections
Updated: Aug 10
The home inspection is one of the most important parts to go through during the buying process. This should be a time where you get to go back inside the home and meet with a local inspector at the property. These usually take a few hours, but you will learn a lot about the house during those hours. The home inspection can bring many emotions out of you.
You may start out excited, then scared, then relieved and happy all during the same inspection!
I typically attend all inspections with my buyer because I like to be there if and when something major comes up. I also like to be there so that when it's time to write up the inspection response, I know exactly what’s in the inspection report.
I don't want to go over the entire inspection process in this blog, but you can check that out on my personal website here. I want to go over what you as a buyer will need to look at during the home inspection
Your Inspection Checklist:
Roof: What is the age of the roof? Are there any missing shingles?
Foundation: You will want to make sure there are no obvious cracks in the foundation. Your inspector will point out normal cracks.
Plumbing: Depending on the age of the house, it wouldn't hurt to have the sewer line scoped (with a camera) to make sure there are no cracks. Make sure you know if the house is on a septic or sewer, and all is up to code.
Electrical: This always comes up on older houses. You want to make sure the outlets are grounded, and GFCI outlets are installed where needed (Bathroom, Kitchen, Garage).
HVAC: When was the last time the system was serviced? How old are the units?
Exterior: Always check to make sure the trim and other wood areas are free of wood rot. Make sure gutters are properly ran to push water away from the house.
Windows: Do the windows appear to be fogged up? They may have broken window seals. That's an easy fix, but usually when 1 or 2 seals are bad, the others may be going bad soon.
Basement: Be sure to look in the rafters to see any signs of mold. Check the corner walls to see if it looks like water is an issue.
Grounds: Make sure the grounds aren't sloping towards the house. This would mean water would drain towards your house which would cause foundation issues.
Appliances: Not all inspection companies inspect appliances. You will want to open these up and look for any damage or signs that they aren't working.
Crawl Space: Check for signs of water, wood rot and termites while your looking down there (or while the inspector is down there).
This is just a quick checklist you can look at while you are there. Most things that you find should be something that the seller may not know about. Usually they will disclose any known problems on their Seller Disclosure forms that you have already reviewed and signed at this point.
Just keep in mind, inspectors aren't perfect. You will typically find little things pop up after you move in. That is why it's always good to ask for a home warranty for your first year of owning the house. The day I moved into my house, my garage springs broke on my garage door and I couldn't get my door to open. Welcome to home ownership!
What did you discover after you moved into your home? Any major things go wrong? Please feel free to comment below!