Well, I’ve received an acceptance on an offer on a beautiful home. The whole process is quite lengthy, to say the least. I know that the home inspection is coming up quickly, so I did a bit of research to learn what to expect. Here are my findings:
A good inspector will produce a lengthy report (30+ pages) detailing everything. If it’s a short report (3-4 pages), then it likely isn’t a very thorough inspection.
The inspector will look at many things including, but certainly not limited to:
Structural elements – ceilings, floors, walls, foundation, roof, and basement (if applicable)
Mold and Dampness – looks for signs of mold and water leakage throughout the property, including cracked, missing, or rotting flooring, walls, or sections of the ceiling
Systems and Components – furnace, duct work, chimney and fireplace, central air, and hot water heater
Exterior elements – siding, trim, windows, gutters, walkways, driveways, patios, grading, and drainage
Garage – slab floor, garage door, and wall
Plumbing – sinks, faucets, pipe material, toilets, water pressure, and showers or tubs, and leaks
Electrical – circuit breakers, type of wiring, ceiling fans, light fixtures, main panel, and exhaust fans
Ventilation – home and mechanical ventilation
Appliances – (where applicable) dishwasher, built-in microwave, range and oven, garbage disposal, smoke detectors, and CO2 detectors
Roof and Attic – ventilation, insulation, roof, evidence of any leaks, and framing
Essentially, the inspector’s job is to go through the property (not just the house) thoroughly and report back any findings that are structural or cosmetic in nature. This is the best way for potential buyers to ensure they aren’t purchasing a home with an enormous amount of work that needs to be completed to ensure it’s a safe and comfortable home. Some items may require very little, but some items may be very costly and intrusive to repair. It’s pretty obvious that someone looking to purchase a home as their primary residence will not want to have large amounts of renovations to be completed prior to moving in. However, many investors and / or developers may be perfectly happy with a home that has a few defects as long as they get it at the right price.
There are many items, from what I have learned, that may come up in the home inspection that need to be addressed. If the items are cosmetic or are easy / inexpensive to repair, you might want to think about repairing those things yourself. However, if the items the inspector identifies are structural in nature (i.e. a cracked foundation), then you can ask the seller to modify the price or give a credit once escrow closes to cover the cost of the repairs.
Also, it is highly recommended that the buyer is present for and participates in the home inspection. This will give you a birds-eye view of what the inspector is looking at and you can get tips and tricks on how to properly maintain your home in the future and possibly save yourself tons of money in the process.