The seller has accepted your offer for your dream home, and you are ready to move in now. But do not be so quick though. Before you sign the papers for the deal, you will want to make sure that your new home is in good condition. On the surface, it may look good, but it does not mean it is.
This is why getting a professional home inspection is necessary and critical in the home buying process. It is an opportunity for you to make sure that you know what you are getting yourself into when it comes to the condition of your new home.
A home inspection does not only provide you with a list of problems that you can negotiate with your seller to fix or a catastrophic fault in the home that makes you back out of your deal altogether. But it also provides the homebuyer with a detailed report, sort of a “new owner’s manual” which includes maintenance tips and schedules you should follow.
Here’s a rundown of everything that you need to know about home inspection along with a home inspection checklist.
What is a Home Inspection?
A home inspection is an examination of a property to evaluate the potential issues in it. It is conducted by a professional and certified home inspector who examines the condition of a home, and then provides a full status report on it. Home inspectors generally look at the house’s major components and functions (water, heating, air conditioning etc.) to see if there are any issues that require immediate attention.
You can think of a home inspection as a deeper insight into the home, whether it is well-maintained or requires some major repairing. You can use the results of a home inspection as a bargain tool with the seller or back off on your buying decision altogether.
How to Prepare for a Home Inspection?
It is crucial to understand what your home inspector is looking for in your new home and what information you can get out of the home inspection report. Doing some homework on this beforehand will enable you to ask in-depth questions about the home inspection report. This in turn will help you thoroughly understand your new home’s condition, what issues need to be addressed in the home, and the estimated cost.
Typically, a home inspection can take two to three hours to complete. Home inspectors usually encourage home buyers to be there at the time of inspection to discuss the findings and answer any questions. After the home inspection, the home inspector provides a written report, a consumer notice, and a contract for service.
Home Inspection – Checklist
While, a professional home inspection checklist may vary, but usually home inspectors look at the physical components, structure, and systems of a home to make their report.
Here is a generic home inspection checklist that you should pay attention to
Examine the base of the walls and the ceilings of the whole house. Are there any visible shifts or cracks in the foundation? Does any part of the ground near the foundation seem soggy, sunken, or squishy? Are there any trees close to the foundation?
Does the house look like it is well-maintained or does it seem like it will need some repairs soon? Are the gutters and downspouts firmly attached? Are there any loose boards or dangling wires?
Do you see stains, dark spots, or even moss? Is the overall condition good? Ask when the roof was last repaired.
Windows and Doors
Do they open and close easily and properly? Do any of them seem mis-aligned? Do you see any signs of moisture around the frames or between the panes?
Attic and Basement
Can you spot any signs of moisture or water intrusion? If the attic or basement is in un-finished condition, what kind of insulation do you see and is it in good condition?
Heating and Cooling System
What heating and cooling system are in place? Are they functional? Are they in good condition or will they require a repair soon? Look for the model number or manufacturing date to get an idea of the system’s age.
Are there any signs of leaks in under sink cabinets? Do all the faucets work? How is the water pressure? What’s the condition of a hot water heater?
Do all light switches work? How is the overall wiring condition in the house? Are there any loose circuit boards? Does the house have an old electric panel with fuse or a newer one with circuit breaker or both?
Are there any bad smells in the house? Look for what might be the reason for the bad smell in the house.
If appliances like refrigerator, oven, dryer, washing machine are part of the sale? What’s their condition?
Purchasing a home is probably one of your biggest investments in life. Therefore, we strongly recommend you to invest in professional home inspection. It will not only give you peace of mind that you are investing safely but will also save you from costly problems later on.
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