What Items Should You Inspect When Buying A House?
Purchasing a home involves many tasks you have to complete before you even think about stepping foot into your new house. A common question many new home buyers ask is “what should I have inspected before I purchase my home?” Considering your home will be one of the largest purchases you make, you want to do your due diligence, and inspect every little detail before making your final decision. Below we will cover the most common items you should have thoroughly inspected by a licensed professional home inspector. This will give you the peace of mind you need to feel confident in your new purchase!
Professional Home Inspection:
It’s best to hire a professional home inspector to certify the condition of the home you’re interested in buying. But what exactly do they inspect? There are various levels of inspection tiers companies offer, therefore it will differ company to company. You will want to decide what level of inspection you want and then conduct your own research to find the best company for you. Some companies will offer a general inspection, or a full spectrum of choices such as water damage, mold, roofing, window issues etc.
Areas To Cover In A Home Inspection:
1. General Home Inspection
A general home inspection is just what it sounds like. This will include an inspection of your homes interior and exterior elements. Specific areas you can expect to be inspected include:
- Rot in the building material such as the wood
- Water damage
- Chimney and fireplace
In Florida, you don’t have to worry about this, but if you are purchasing a home elsewhere with a basement, it’s best to have this area checked and triple checked! Most frequently, this is the most common area where major problems are found. Things to inspect include, but are not limited to:
- Potential points susceptible to leaking
- Ensuring the ground structure is stable and not uneven. If the ground is unstable or uneven, it can lead to flooding of the basement and water damage
- Structural cracks and the home’s foundation
- Heating issues
- Condition of pipes
- Electrical issues
Mold can be very worrisome to new homebuyers. Since there are a variety of molds you may not visibly see right away, it’s an issue you will want to have professionally inspected. Prime breeding grounds for mold are damp areas moisture manages to penetrate. Not all molds are hard to deal with, so before you give up, make sure to consult your inspector and realtor, as it may be a simple fix! Thankfully, a thorough inspection for mold is included in most home inspections.
One of the worst scenarios you can get yourself into is purchasing a house infested with termites, spiders, or even cockroaches. While older homes can be more prone to an occasional rare ant or mouse, some houses can be completely infested. This issue isn’t as easy to spot if you’re not trained for it, therefore it’s best to hire a professional to complete this task.
Often, paint can hide real issues underneath it. This includes loose wires, aging appliances, poorly insulated walls, and the paint itself! The reason for checking the paint is that you could be facing lead paint issues. Lead paint is most commonly found in older homes. The paint itself isn’t a direct danger to adults unless you ingest it, but for children and infants, this could cause major issues. legally you still need to be informed by the current homeowners if lead-based paint was used.
5. Well Water
If you’re buying a house with a well, you will want to do a close inspection of the condition of the well and the quality of the water you will be using. Be sure you test the pressure of the faucets in the house, the shower head, and test flushing the toilets. You may also discover the condition of the water is “hard water.” To remedy this, you will end up spending extra money on things such as a water softener. If you need to have a new well drilled this can end up costing you thousands, and this is definitely not something you want to have to calculate after you purchase your home.
6. Septic System
Just like the well, you will want to test the septic system and check the condition it’s in. Repairing your septic system or having another one dug up and installed can be extremely costly. Be sure to check for leaky pipes and foul-smelling odors in the bathrooms. One thing to be aware of with older homes is the sewage system pipes. Over time tree roots can damage the pipes. There are some companies that can send a camera through the pipes to help detect these kinds of issues, so if you’re interested in an older home it may be a safe option to consider.
7. Leave No Rock Unturned
Make sure you test EVERYTHING. This means physically testing items such as light switches, electrical outlets, faucets, showers, toilets, windows, doors, drawers, air and heat, and any items that may come with your house purchase such as major appliances. You can’t be too safe when it comes to purchasing a home. Therefore, we recommend getting your hands dirty and making sure you know how everything works before making your final decision.
We can’t stress enough the importance of having your home professionally inspected. Thoroughly testing everything you possibly can and asking the homeowner any questions you may have, is a great way to ensure you’re fully aware of every detail you need to help you make an educated decision.
In addition, an extra resource which may benefit you is this article that uncovers the most frequently asked questions on home inspections.
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