If you’re jumping into the red-hot real estate market by buying or selling a home, chances are good you’re going to need the skills of a thorough home inspector.
Their job is to assess the structural integrity of the house from top to bottom. Expect them to identify any safety and health issues in a report after their visit.
Real estate inspections are an essential part of the home buying process. Here is what to expect when a home inspector comes knocking on your door.
The Basics of a Home Inspection
The main purpose of a home inspector is to look within a house and examine whether it’s functioning properly. This means examining its structural integrity from the base of its foundation to the top of the roof and everything in between.
A reputable house inspector will generate a written report with their findings, noting any health and safety and building code issues that need to be addressed.
How Long Does a Home Inspection Take?
Depending on the size of the home, homeowners should expect a home inspection to take two to four hours.
Comprehensive house inspections will include checking out a home’s heating and cooling systems, electrical, and plumbing to identify any potential problem areas before buyers and sellers close on a home sale.
Roof and Attic Evaluations
Don’t be surprised if a home inspector climbs on top of your roof and starts walking along the roofline looking for loose shingles, deteriorating, flashing, and missing soffits.
A thorough inspector will also crawl into an attic to examine the condition of the insulation and ventilation. Defective insulation or water stains could be a sign of a deeper problem like water damage or mold growth.
Structural Flaws in Foundation and Flooring
An experienced home inspector will usually start home inspections from the outside, beginning with the exterior walls and foundation. They are looking for any cracks or any signs of shifting that could show structural problems.
While an uneven baseboard may seem like a character flaw to one homeowner, a home inspector may see that as a red flag denoting a serious safety hazard or foundation issue.
A good home inspector will also look for telltale signs of termite infestation.
Checking Appliances, Electrical and Plumbing
Homeowners should expect a home inspection to include ensuring major appliances and the household electrical and plumbing systems are in working order.
That means an inspector will flush the toilets. Turn on the oven. Get some ice from the fridge’s ice maker. Run the water on full blast in the shower. They may even lift the toilet tank to ensure the rubber flap is working.
The Ultimate Home Inspector Checklist
Now that you know the process involved, when a home inspector comes to your door to do their job, be prepared for a thorough inspection that will test all the major systems in your home.
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