A buyer’s home inspection can sometimes feel like a daunting task, especially if you don’t know where to start. Thankfully, a number of professionals and experienced individuals can help you with this process. Conducting a home inspection can be simple and straight-forward if you plan well and thoroughly. Here’s how to do just that.
Does the buyer have a right to inspect?
Create a Home Inspection Checklist
You don’t want to begin your home inspection with little or no idea of what to look for. We’ve compiled a list below you can use for reference. It’s a good starting point. Now be sure to add any specific things you think are important to your home inspection checklist.
Kitchen: Check for damage on any hardware in the kitchen. This includes any countertops, sinks, cupboards, and other fixtures. Make sure the pipes are in proper working condition and that water is flowing as well.
Floors, Walls, and Ceilings: Check for any damage and make sure there is no unevenness, squeaking, or other issues with these surfaces.
Bathrooms: As with the kitchen, make sure there’s proper water flow in the faucet and shower. Check for cracked or loose tiles.
Windows and Doors: Make sure these have no cracks or signs of other damage, are installed properly, and can open and close comfortably.
Basement/Attic: Check thoroughly for any water leaks, stains, cracks, and other types of damage that may have caused the structure to start decaying.
Heating, Electrical, and Ventilation: This category is a big one. Check for any damaged, leaking, or rusting pipes on these systems and make sure you know where all the water shut-off valves are. Ensure that all the wiring is in good, working condition and that the main electrical panel is easily accessible.
Watch out for hidden fire damage.
Driveway and Sidewalks: Check for uneven surfaces or cracks.
Exterior Surfaces: Ensure exterior surfaces are intact, with no cracks, decaying materials, stains, or flaking paint.
Roof: Check for any loose, broken, or missing shingles, as well as any rotten material or cracks. If there’s a chimney, make sure it’s in good and working condition.
Garage: Make sure garage doors open and close properly. Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are installed and working.
Bring a Friend to Your Home Inspection
Two sets of eyes are better than one, and it never hurts to bring a friend or family member along as an extra precaution. It’s easy to miss something when you’re blinded to faults by your dreams and ambitions. Having someone you trust tag along for a home inspection is a great idea.
Hire a Home Inspection Expert
Even when a home inspector isn’t mandatory for your home purchase, many people will hire one for the peace of mind of having a professional verify the quality and state of your home. Make sure the inspector you hire is licensed and has the appropriate experience. Feel free to ask any questions you may have.
How to word a home inspection contract.
What’s Included in a Professional Home Inspection
What is typically included in a home inspection?
Home buyers are perfectly capable of inspecting many parts of their potential home, but even a seasoned buyer may miss more technical aspects. Home inspectors do a visual inspection for a home’s safety and condition. They prepare a report on the home’s physical structure, building code issues, and needed maintenance or repairs.
Your inspector can help you decide whether to proceed with a purchase, ask for minor repairs, renegotiate the price, or move on by cancelling your offer to purchase.
Most Obvious Home Defects
Ask any expert, what are the most important things in a home inspection? Chances are, they’ll answer:
- insulation and ventilation in rooms
- moisture and mould
- mice or rodent infestations
- paint and trim deficiencies
- the condition of electrical outlets
- temperature controls
- broken shingles on the roof
- and the age and condition of chimneys.
Professional home inspectors will check for these. You can trust they’ll look out for generic and obvious issues, as well as difficult-to-spot defects that could trip up your home purchase.
What to do when the home inspection reveals problems.
Talk to the Seller
A tip to definitely consider is to ask the seller, and their real estate agent, about any known defects, both hidden and in plain sight. They’re obligated to answer truthfully. Talking to them will clear up any misunderstandings, making sure you’re protected as much as possible against any post-closing issues that may arise.
Your liability if a seller “forgot” the building permit.
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If a real estate deal falls through, who gets the deposit?
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