The process of buying a home can be unlike any experience prospective buyers have ever had. After finding a home they like and coming to an agreement on a sale price with the seller, buyers can expect to add many items to their to-do list. One of the first things to jot down on that list is scheduling a home inspection.
Home inspections are a vital part of the home buying process. Such inspections can protect buyers as they're on the cusp of making what will likely be the most significant investment of their lives. Understanding the home inspection process can help buyers during an exciting yet potentially nerve-wracking time in their lives.
What is a home inspection?
The American Society of Home Inspectors defines a home inspection as an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house. Inspectors will conduct visual examinations from the roof to the foundation of the home. Additional structures on the property, such as sheds or detached outdoor living areas, are not typically included in the examination.
What do inspectors examine?
The ASHI notes that inspectors will examine the condition of various parts of the home. The heating system, central air conditioning unit, interior plumbing and electrical systems, roof (though inspectors will not climb onto the roof), attic and insulation will be examined. Inspectors also will examine walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, the foundation of the home, basement (or crawl space), and structural components.
Can a home fail inspection?
Homes cannot fail home inspections, which are just assessments of a home's existing condition. Municipal inspections are separate inspections conducted by government agencies to verify that a property is in compliance with local codes. Home inspectors will provide detailed reports describing the condition of a home and indicate if any repairs are in order.
Do I really need a home inspection?
A home inspection is a vital component that can help buyers make the most informed decision possible. Forgoing an inspection can leave buyers vulnerable to potentially costly repairs and issues with a home that might have been detected with a proper home inspection. In addition, some lenders insist that buyers have home inspections conducted before they will allow them to borrow money.
Home inspections can protect home buyers as they prepare to make the most significant financial investment of their lives and almost inevitably, the subject of the home inspection will come up during the buying process.
Some buyers may be inclined to skip the home inspection; there is so much else going at that time that it may just seem like another task to check off the list. However, a professional home inspection is the perfect opportunity to gain insight into the condition of the home they’re considering – an unbiased evaluation that can provide much-needed peace of mind at a stressful time. This information can prove extremely useful and help avoid unpleasant surprises.
A professional home inspection includes a visual assessment of the home’s systems and structural components, including heating/cooling, plumbing, electrical, roof, foundation, walls, chimneys, doors, and windows. Appliance systems as well as heating/cooling and plumbing are tested to ensure proper operation. These evaluations are then included in the written inspection report, which should include detailed findings and identify any potential concerns. The report should also indicate any recommended repairs based on the inspection results. At that time, you might recommend that the seller complete needed repairs, or if they choose not to, that the cost of doing the repairs be reflected in the selling price.
However, in many of today’s overheated real estate markets the home inspection contingency may be waived in order for an offer to be considered at all. In these cases, a home inspection is still extremely important because it allows buyers to learn about the home and provides comprehensive picture of the home’s condition. Some buyers are now opting to have a home inspection after the purchase has gone through so they can plan for future repairs, upgrades, or address other issues.
To get the most out of a home inspection, buyers should accompany the home inspector during the process. This allows for asking questions on site and getting any needed clarification about potential issues that come up along the way. It’s a great way to get to know the home and locate key items such as key shutoff valves, the breaker panel and more. Attending the inspection will also provide a better understanding of any repair recommendations.
The home inspection is truly a key part of a smooth transaction and a confident purchase and the inspection report will serve as a reference for details about the home for years to come. <
This article is brought to you courtesy of Pillar to Post Home Inspectors. Contact Brandon with The Lussier Team at (207) 749-3775 for your next home inspection.