The next time you need a home inspection remember these simple tips on what to ask and what to look for.
When buying a new house, its all to easy to get enamored with all the pretty new features, the shiny granite, the glistening new appliances in the kitchen and the new mosaic tiles in the master bathroom. But don’t fall in love too fast because more often than not, there is more to the house than what you first see. Not checking the house out carefully, could end you up in a house that is a money pit, where you spend most of your spare time and money fixing the problems with your new house.
But how are you supposed to know if a house has foundation problems, faulty or old wiring, bad pipes or a plethora of other hidden problems that you would not know about or even consider?
Two words: home inspection.
It is extremely important that you get your house inspected as soon as you plan to buy a house, regardless if the house is new or a fixer. A professional home inspection needs to be done before you sign the contract and make the final purchase because without it, you may not know for months or even years of a potentially huge problem that will creep up after you have moved in, and are the legal owner.
How do you find a good inspector?
When you hire a home inspector, you also need to ensure that the inspector isn’t cutting corners, and is thoroughly checking every aspect of the house.
These are some of the most important items a good home inspector should look at and report on.
- Foundation - Foundations can be one of the most expensive problems and if left undiscovered, you could end up with a house that is sinking into the ground, with shifting and cracking walls and ceilings, sticking windows, floors that sag and so much more. The foundation is the rock on which your house stands, if it has problems so do you.
- Plumbing - Your home inspector is mainly going to be looking for leaks or signs that water has been dripping from pipes. These signs include things such as corrosion and stains on the bottom of the cabinet, warped floors and stains on walls and ceilings.
- Electrical systems - If you have an electrical issue, you could experience many signs of a problem. Signs of an issue include breakers and fuses burning out often, dimming and flickering of lights, buzzing or charring of electrical outlets, burning smells, and shocking but some signs are often overlooked by homeowners which result in 100s of electrical house fires every year.
- Heating and cooling - These systems have a limited lifespan, usually between 10 and 20 years, if they’ve been well maintained. Your home inspector should let you know whether there are any problems or whether the systems have exceeded their lifespan.
- Roof - A roof inspection is another vital area. With any roof problem can come leaks, and leaks can lead to many problems, including water damage and dangerous mold.
At the end of your home inspection, the inspector should not tell you whether to buy the house or not, but should just report the facts to you. In the end, you must decide whether the problems found by the home inspector are a deal breaker for you. One final thing to think about is this, it can be useful for the you to hang out while the inspector performs his inspection. Often the inspector will point out little items or maintenance tips that might not make it into the report.