It is important to have a home inspection when buying a home. This can often identify items that even the current owner doesn’t know about.
In the initial offer, there is a due diligence period that allows for the contract to be terminated by the buyer for any reason. This phase is used for the home inspection, termite inspection, and any other investigation the buyer may want to do.
The home inspector usually holds a certification that indicates he is familiar with local building code, and has an understanding of mechanical system operations. Many inspectors have previous experience in construction as new home builders or remodeling contractors.
Areas checked during the inspection include evaluation of the property site, roof, exterior and interior, structural, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems.
The site evaluation covers proper drainage, landscaping, and inspection outbuilding and detached garages. A part of this evaluation is to confirm that water is draining away from the foundation.
The roof inspection is to determine the approximate age of the roof coverings, roof leaks, type of materials used and approximate useful life remaining. The roof slope, any wind or hail damage, skylight leaks, gutters and downspouts are also checked.
Foundation walls, exterior wall covering, flashing and condition of chimneys, windows, doors, weatherstripping, shutters, decks, water and GFCI outlets are inspected as a part of the exterior inspection.
The basement or crawlspace is inspected for moisture intrusion, fungus and insect infestation and insulation.
The interior inspection takes the most time. The walls and ceilings are checked for cracks, nail pops, and general condition. Interior doors and windows are checked to make sure they function properly.
There is a complete check of electrical outlets and lighting, that the HVAC functions properly, and the plumbing is operational. Each cabinet door and drawer is opened and closed, smoke detectors checked, and proper ventilation from range hood and exhaust fan. Clothes dryer exhaust vents and fireplaces and flues are checked as well as the attic, roof trusses and vents. There is a visual structural and a check for masonry cracking, signs of movement, mortar deterioration, moisture, or settlement to the foundation.
As you can see this is an extensive inspection that could save a lot of money down the road. Even if the home is being sold “as is” it’s a good idea to know what you’re buying. Sometimes sellers have an inspection completed prior to listing their home. This allows for repairs to be made before the inspection ordered by a buyer, after the home is under contract.