When purchasing a home, a home inspection can save you thousands of dollars in unexpected repairs. It’s important to know exactly what you are getting into. Let’s take a closer look at home inspections and what to expect.
What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is a visual assessment of a home’s physical condition and mechanical systems, including the roof, ceilings, walls, floors, windows, doors, plumbing and more.
An inspector helps make sure there are no hidden issues in a house before the buyer commits. It is important to know about home inspections and what to expect in order to do your due diligence before purchasing a home.
In addition to the home’s physical condition and mechanical systems, inspectors will also check major appliances and the heating and air.
What happens during a home inspection?
During a home inspection, the inspector has three main tasks.
- Identify any possible issues with the house.
- Suggest fixes.
- Write a report, including photos, noting all observed concerns.
This report is vital for the buyer and agent. Based on this report, a buyer can request repairs from the seller.
Things to look out for that home inspectors won’t check
While inspectors assist in determining physical and mechanical issues, they typically only address issues that can be seen with the naked eye.
Inspectors will not put themselves in danger. For example, if a roof is too steep, they will not climb up to check for missing shingles. Instead, they’ll try and use binoculars.
Basic home inspections do not include any of the following:
- Swimming pools
- Septic systems
- Structural engineering work
- Fireplaces or chimneys
For wood-burning fireplaces, many inspectors will open and close the dampers to make sure they’re working and look up chimneys for obstructions, but that is all.
Now that you know about home inspections and what to expect, make sure you show up with your agent on the day of the inspection. This allows you to ask questions, review the inspection report and prepare to negotiate repairs.
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