It’s one thing to understand that you need to get a home inspection before buying a house, and another to know what to look for in the report. The inspection does you no good if you don’t know how to use it.
You should be able to take the information provided and use it to determine whether or not you want to move forward with your offer.
This is a pretty straightforward process once you know all the things to look for in a home inspection.
Here are 9 details you can’t afford to overlook in your report.
1. The Condition of the Roof
It’s not like you can get on the roof and check it out yourself when viewing a house. But, a home inspector can tell you everything you need to know about this part of the building.
It’s important to check the condition of the shingles and to look for things like water damage or an excess of dirt and grime. The presence of such materials may mean that you have to repair or replace the roof soon.
They could also be the reason you need to keep looking at other houses.
2. A Strong Foundation and Reliable Flooring
Just as you should pay attention to what’s going on with the roof, read over what your home inspection report says about the home’s foundation. The last thing you want is to move into a home only to realize it’s on a sinkhole!
Foundation issues are one of the hardest things to deal with in a home. Good thing you can avoid them entirely by checking what your inspection has to say.
Take a moment to assess the condition of the floors, too. It’s going to take you a while to move in if you have to take on the responsibility of installing new floors.
3. Plumbing Issues
The next thing to look for in your inspection report is any note of a plumbing issue.
It’s not too much of a red flag if there’s one leaky faucet in the house or if the water pressure in the guest bathroom is a little low. These are challenges you can easily overcome with an experienced plumber.
But, if there’s a drain that needs to be replaced or a leak in one of the toilets, you want to learn everything you can about this issue before you buy the house.
4. Regular HVAC Functions
What’s worse than having to fix a broken toilet?
Moving into a home with faulty air conditioning!
Imagine having no cold air in the middle of summer or no warmth in the winter. This can happen to you if you don’t talk about a home’s HVAC unit with your inspector. Don’t be afraid to ask questions as they’re looking over the unit and checking all the vents.
5. Water Heater Capabilities
Having no hot water is arguably as bad as having no hot air in your home. Not many people enjoy cold showers. Even if you do take one from time to time, you won’t want to take have this experience every day.
Make sure this doesn’t happen by checking how well the water heater is working. Maybe even discuss the possibility of upgrading the heater.
6. How Well the Outlets Work
This issue is a minor detail in comparison to the other things that may come up in a home inspection report. But, it’s still something to note when you consider whether or not you want to make an offer on a house.
You don’t have much to worry about if only one or two outlets aren’t working. If you’re trying to plug in your phone or hook up the TV just to realize all the outlets in an entire room don’t work, though, you have a bigger problem on your hands.
7. Cosmetic Concerns
Cosmetic concerns include anything from chips in the paint to scratches in the floorboards to spots on the wall.
Some are more of a cause for concern than others, though. A little bit of paint can fix chips and it’s not too hard to get out most scratches. But, a spot on the wall or the ceiling may indicate a water leak and/or a mold problem.
This is a detail you need to look into further before you make any buying decisions.
8. Home Maintenance Records
Even if all the items mentioned above seem to be working perfectly fine, ask your inspector for a record of all the home maintenance the seller has done.
This is the best way to ensure that the home is in as good of shape as it seems to be. Although home inspectors are diligent in their work, having the home maintenance records helps you better understand the condition of a property you may want to purchase.
9. Bids for Repairs
Make it a point to be at the home inspection if you can. This way, you can start to wrap your mind around repairs as different things come up on the report. It’s a good opportunity to start talking about bids with an inspector and thinking about what repairs you want to take on.
Bids are the estimated costs that repairs will amount to. You can choose to split some of the repairs with the seller or negotiate a lower buying price due to all the required maintenance. In some cases, buyers will negotiate for the seller to handle all the repairs themselves.
The Most Important of All Things to Look for in a Home Inspection
Above everything else to look for in a home inspection, you need to make sure that the person handling this task is an experienced professional. This is the only way to ensure that your inspection will tell you everything it needs to.
When buyers trust that their inspector knows all the things to look for in a home inspection, they can move forward in the purchase process with a lot more peace of mind. Don’t be the buyer who makes a silly mistake. Hire the best home inspector for the job if you want to be certain that you’re in good hands.
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