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, and here’s how to do just that.
Create a 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 which you can use for reference. It’s a good starting point, but make sure to add any specific things that you think are important to the list as well.
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 and check for any 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.
Driveway and Grounds: Check for any uneven surfaces or cracks.
Exterior Surfaces: Ensure there are no cracks, decaying materials, stains, or paint flaking off on any exterior surfaces.
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.
Miscellaneous: Make sure the garage door open and closes properly and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are installed and working.
Bring a Friend
Two sets of eyes are better than one, so it never hurts to bring a friend or family member along as an extra precaution. There’s always a possibility of missing something, especially if you’re blinded by your dream home, so bringing someone to tag along is always a great idea.
Hire an 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 and feel free to ask them any questions you may have.
While the average person is capable of inspecting many parts of home, there are certain technicalities that they may miss. Just a few examples are the insulation and ventilation in rooms, moisture and evidence of pests, paint and trim job, outlets, temperature control, broken shingles on the roof, and chimneys. Since home inspectors know these specific check-points, you can trust they’ll look out for any generic and obvious issues as well as very difficult to spot ones.
Talk to the Seller
A tip to definitely consider is to ask the seller as well as their agent about any known defects, both hidden and in plain sight. They’re obligated to answer truthfully and 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.