When you are looking at houses for sale with the intention of buying one, you may find several that you like. Whether they are new or re-sales, it is important to have a licensed home inspector examine each house before making a final decision. A home inspector is qualified to give a professional evaluation of the structure and other areas in the home to see if there are any current or possible future problems. A written report will be given to you that describes the problems detected and can contain recommendations for solutions. The detailed report of a person with a home inspection license will give information about several structural areas of the building. The seller will have the opportunity to make repairs or the buyer will have the opportunity to negotiate a lower price. Here are the main areas the inspector will evaluate.
What Is Included in a Home Inspection?
The requirements for home inspection vary widely from state to state, but the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) has outlined the minimum requirements called Standards of Practice. You should expect these standards from an inspection.
The Main Areas of a Home Inspection
• The condition of the roof-shingles, flat roofs, chimneys, gutters and vents
• The ventilation in the attic, including signs of water damage or leaking and sufficient insulation
• The structural elements such as signs of bowing or sagging of the structure, window alignment, condition of the visible foundation
• The condition of the grounds, including proper drainage, leaks from septic tank, condition of the fences, sidewalks and driveways
• The safety condition of stairs, hand and guardrails and garage door openers as well as fire and carbon monoxide alarms and fire sprinklers
• The siding or paint on exterior surfaces and properly working electrical outlets and lights. The correct clearance between ground and siding material
• The heating and cooling systems, water heaters, fireplace and chimney
• The interior plumbing such as leaking or damaged pipes, functioning sinks, showers, bathtubs and toilets
• The electrical system should comply with local codes and the circuit breakers, light fixtures, outlets and fans should function properly.
• The garage door should work, as well as any windows, fans and electrical outlets
• There should be no signs of water intrusion or damage in the basement, and the foundation should walls and floors should be solid
• The appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machine and dryer and microwaves should function properly
Areas Not Included
There are a number of areas that are not usually covered by a home inspection such as:
• swimming pools
• pest control
• lead paint
• toxic mold
• radon gas
If you suspect any problems in these areas, then you may want to arrange for an evaluation by a certified specialist.
Buying a home is a major investment, so before you sign the papers, you want to be sure it is evaluated by a licensed home inspector. Any major problems will be brought to your attention and the owner should have them repaired or you negotiate a lower price for the house. Buying a house requires a dedicated team that includes your real estate agent, the lender and the home inspector to complete the team. When you take the time to educate yourself about the process, you can find a trusted licensed home inspector.