Tip to have good home Inspection
- Feb, 17 2021
How to have a good Home Inspection – From Zillow.
Inspection day is often one of the most exciting moments of home buying because it’s likely the first chance you’ll have to go inside the home since you made your offer. But more importantly, it’s your opportunity to make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into when it comes to the condition of the home.
Home inspections can be reassuring, fun and exhausting all at the same time.
A home inspection doesn’t just provide you with a list of problems you’ll want to negotiate with the seller or, worse, something catastrophic that makes you back out of the deal altogether. It gives you a detailed report that acts as a new homeowner’s manual that includes a home maintenance schedule and checklist.
There are few things you can do ahead of inspection day to make sure you get the most out of the process. Here’s how to prepare and what to expect.
Home inspection checklist
You should start preparing for a professional inspection when you initially tour the home, before making an offer. This will give you an idea if there are any areas you want the inspector to pay special attention to. A good inspector will address these issues in the report you pay for. Use this checklist to help figure out what to look for, both ahead of time and in the final report. If any of these items aren’t covered in the inspection report, ask why.
Foundation: Look at the base of the walls and the ceilings in each room. Are there obvious cracks or apparent shifts in the foundation? Do the same around the outside. Are there any trees encroaching on the foundation?
Lot: Does the drainage appear to be away from the house? Are there any obvious soggy areas?
Roof: What is the overall condition? When was it last replaced?
Exterior: Does the house look like it will need repairs or repainting soon? Are gutters and downspouts firmly attached? Are there loose boards or dangling wires? Is there asbestos in the exterior material, which would require added costs if it needed to be repaired or replaced?
Attic: How does the interior of the roof structure look? Are there any signs of leaks?
Interior evidence of leaks: Check ceilings and around windows in each room.
Basement: Is there dampness? Adequate insulation? (If there’s a crawlspace instead of a basement, you might want to leave this for the professional home inspection.)
Electrical: Do the switches work? Are there any obvious malfunctions? Have the outlets been grounded? Is the panel updated and expandable for additional appliances or a potential remodel?
Plumbing: Any unusual noises or malfunctions? Has the sewer line been scoped to check for potential cracks?
Appliances: If these are included, what is the age and condition of the stove, dishwasher or refrigerator?
Heating/cooling system: Does it seem to do the job? How old is the furnace? If the system has been converted, are the old systems or tanks still in place?
Odor: Does the home smell? Can you detect what it might be and whether it could be fixed? Beware of musty odors which could signal a wet basement.
Before your inspection day, you should also get a seller’s disclosure statement, which will help you identify any additional issues you want your inspector to look at. If they disclosed that they had a leaky window replaced or repaired, make sure that gets extra attention from your inspector.
Disclosure requirements vary by state and sometimes local jurisdictions, so ask your real estate agent if you have any questions about what is included. Disclosure typically comes in the form of boilerplate documents with a series of yes/no questions for the seller.
One thing to look for is whether any unpermitted work has been done. If so, you could be on the hook for bringing the house up to code should you ever remodel. Even if that’s not even remotely on your radar, unpermitted work needs to be carefully inspected, particularly electrical and plumbing work.
Block out an entire morning or afternoon for the inspection — it’s important not to rush this process. Your agent can be present, along with the seller’s agent, who would be there to provide answers to any questions the inspector might have. During this time, follow along as much as you can. You don’t have to follow the inspector into the crawlspace — they bring protective clothing just for that.
Remember, you aren’t being a pest. You’re being a student. Along with identifying any potential problems, inspectors will explain your home’s systems and give you maintenance tips, which should also be in the final report, along with pictures.
Inspectors aren’t perfect
What happens if your inspection comes back clean but you find problems after you move in? It depends. First, the inspection will only cover things the inspector can see without tearing down walls. The inspector won’t claim responsibility for problems that are truly hidden, unless they missed what should have been obvious signs of a potential hidden problem.
Look carefully at your contract to understand whether the inspection company will pay for repairs related to issues they should have caught, but didn’t, or whether they will only refund your inspection fee.
Most importantly, take time to gain a clear understanding of what constitutes a major problem. A structural failure that leads to the home being condemned? It’s probably worth talking with a lawyer. A leaky faucet? That’s just the joy of homeownership.