The home inspection process is one of the most important aspects of the home buying process.
A proper inspection can help you avoid buying a dud of a house while allowing you to feel secure in your new home.
But what do home inspectors look for, anyway?
Here are 10 of the most common things an inspector will check out when visiting a home.
1. Structural Damage
Since structural damage is often easy to spot, your home inspector may begin by taking a quick walk around the premises.
They’ll make notes of any exterior damage they notice, like cracks or scratches, paying close attention to your gutters, windows, and doors.
When they’re finished outside, they’ll head to the home’s interior. Inside, they’ll look for any signs of water damage on the ceilings and make note of any issues with your home’s flooring.
If you’re already aware of structural damage in your home, be sure to alert the home inspector beforehand so they can take a closer look.
2. Code Compliance
Housing codes change every few years. While they may seem like a pain, they’re actually quite helpful.
These codes serve as a universal guideline for builders. That way, you’ll know that your house is safe.
Of course, since housing codes change from time to time, those who live in a historic home understandably won’t be up to date with the current guidelines.
The home inspector will make note of this, and, in most cases, it won’t cause much of a problem.
However, codes vary from city to city, so what’s acceptable in Cleveland isn’t guaranteed to be the same as what passes in Perry. Look into your city’s specific ordinance for more details.
3. Mold and Mildew
Does your home have drainage issues? Have you noticed a damp, musty smell in the basement?
If you answered yes to either question, there’s a decent chance that your home may have some sort of mold or mildew problem.
Depending on the severity of the bacterial growth, mold may keep your home from going on the market. At least, until you pay for removal.
4. Plumbing Problems
Of course, the biggest cause of mold growth is an excess of moisture. In most instances, trapped moisture is entirely avoidable with proper plumbing and drainage.
And it doesn’t take much to inspire mold growth, either. Something as innocuous as a dripping pipe can lead to water damage, pest infestations, and bacterial growth.
5. Electrical Issues
Iffy outlets and dimming lights aren’t just inconveniences — they’re fire hazards, too. Leaving electrical issues unattended can result in the destruction of your home.
For this reason, the inspector will check out any and all circuit breakers and receptacles.
Remember, codes change over time. If your house is a little bit older, you may have to pay to update your home’s electrical system.
It’s a big price to pay up front, but it’s a necessity for getting your home on the market.
6. Appliance Functionality
The modern home is an amazing place. From Bluetooth-enabled smart fridges to self-cleaning kitchens, Ohio is full of homes with top of the line appliances that are to die for.
And, of course, these appliances will be a huge selling point for your home. If they work, that is.
While your inspector won’t make a four-course meal in your kitchen or take a shower, they will test that all included appliances are in working order.
7. Roofing Concerns
Your roof is maybe the most important part of your house. It keeps you safe from the elements, provides comfort, and typically doesn’t require too much upkeep.
The average roof has a lifespan of anywhere from 20 to 50 years depending on the material.
Though repairing a roof can be a hassle, it’s a necessary evil. Your roof is part of your curb appeal, which is a major selling point of your home.
If your roof looks damaged or outdated, you can expect your home to stay on the market longer.
Cockroaches, rats, and insects — oh my!
Nobody likes to share their home with unwanted guests. But pests are a dime a dozen.
The good news is that there are certain ways to mitigate their presence, such as cleaning on a regular basis and spraying problem areas. These methods only take a few minutes and can save you a whole lot of time and money.
The bad news is that if you don’t keep up with pest control, you might quickly find your home overrun.
Pests do more than give you a scare, too. Certain pests, like rats and mice, can chew through wires and cause thousands of dollars in electrical damage.
Of course, we haven’t even addressed some of the most frustrating pests — termites. According to Orkin, termites damage 600,000 homes per year and cause billions of dollars in damages.
9. Lead Paint
A home inspector might find your home’s paint to be problematic — and it isn’t the color they’re concerned about.
Lead paint was a commonly used tool among home builders up until about 1978. It saved money and even looked great.
But it caused a whole slew of health issues. Lead paint is so detrimental that it’s been outright banned.
If your home was built before 1978 you can expect your home inspection agency to inquire about lead.
10. HVAC Horrors
Ohio is home to some of the United States’ strangest weather patterns. Our winters are tundra-like and our summers are blazing.
So, when someone shops for a new home, one of the first things they look for is a working heating and cooling system.
It’s quite common for inspectors to run your heating and air conditioning for a few moments. They’ll also inspect the outdoor unit for leaks or cracks.
What Do Home Inspectors Look For? Our Final Thoughts
So, what do home inspectors look for? In essence, a safe, hassle-free home.
While your home doesn’t need to be pristine to pass inspection, it will need to pass these basic guidelines.
If you have any questions about the inspection process or want to schedule an inspection, be sure to reach out today!