Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you can make. Knowing everything about the house before you sign on the dotted line helps make that decision a little easier.
To get that knowledge, you need a good home inspection. An inspection will highlight any issue with the home that you might not see when you first tour it with your realtor.
What you learn from the inspector and their report could help you negotiate a better price. It can show you what you will need to fix, too.
To make sure you get the best inspection report you can, here is a list of things to do during a home inspection. Read on to learn about what a good inspector looks for and the kind of things you should keep an eye on.
1. Be Present at Your Home Inspection
The single most important thing you can do when it comes to having a home inspection is to be there when it happens. If you’re not present, you will have to rely solely on the written report from the inspector.
Walking the house with the inspector allows you to see what they are looking at. You’ll get a verbal assessment from the inspector as it happens. It is useful for you when you get the written report.
You may also have noticed things yourself when you first looked at the home. Being there with the inspector allows you to raise those things in real-time, at the property.
2. Use a Certified and Trusted Inspector
Do some research before you choose a home inspector. Don’t settle for whoever your realtor recommends. They may not be completely impartial.
Choose a home inspector who has the correct certification. Make sure reviews of the home inspector are positive and point out how thorough they are. Look for indications about the kind of written report you will get, too.
A good inspector will cost a bit more. But the superior inspection they do, plus the more-complete report you get, will be worth it. Finding out about every single possible issue, even if they are small and easy to fix before you make your purchase, could save you a lot of money.
3. Ask Lots of Questions
When you tour the home for the inspection, ask as many questions as you can. A good home inspector will welcome your interest. They will also be able to provide information or advice in response to your questions.
At the same time, if you aren’t sure about what they are telling you, follow up with clarifying questions. They may not have seen what you have. Or, they may use technical language that you’re unfamiliar with.
The big thing during the inspection is, don’t be afraid to ask questions even if you think they might be elementary.
4. Make Sure You Get Pictures
A good home inspection report will come with photos of the house. Make sure your inspector takes lots of pictures during the inspection. These will provide you with good references when you get the report.
One of the main reasons to make sure your inspector is taking photos is to access areas that you don’t. That is particularly the case if there is a crawl space or hard-to-access attic. Some inspectors will also access the roof and take close-up photos there, too.
You can ask your inspector to show you photos from such locations during the inspection. That way, you can see things and ask questions while you have the inspector with you.
5. The Roof
The roof is one of the most important things to get inspected. Knowing what condition the roof is in is crucial. A roof that is in bad shape can often mean the rest of the house has hidden problems.
Ask the inspector questions about the condition of the shingles. See if they can tell how long it has been since the roof was installed.
As long as it is safe to do so, the inspector should go up on the roof. That will allow a close inspection and let the inspector see if there are problems.
If there is a chimney, ask the inspector to look closely at the joins with the roof. It is one of the most problematic spots on the roof.
6. The Attic and Basement
Don’t forget the attic and the basement. These two areas can give a lot of information to the inspector about the condition of the house.
Inspectors will look for clues about the construction of the home in these two areas. Proper venting is one trigger point. Leaks and insulation are other things you should ask your inspector about.
Both the attic and the basement also offer inspectors clues about water damage. Because water can cause many problems with the structural integrity of a home, make sure your inspector tests for water content in the air and walls.
7. Test Everything
During the inspection, your inspector should test everything. That includes heating, plumbing, and electricity systems.
Ensure the inspector turns on faucets, flushes the toilets, and runs the heating and cooling systems. Ask them to test the outlets to make sure they are grounded.
8. Focus on the Foundation
Because the foundation is, well, foundational, it’s crucial to have the inspector tell you everything they can see about the condition it is in. A foundation with issues will almost certainly mean the house has other structural problems.
Fixing a bad foundation is costly. So, this is one area of the house that you need your inspector to see closely. It’s an area that you will certainly want to negotiate with the seller if your inspector finds problems.
Get Full Value from Your Home Inspection
A good home inspection will provide you with a lot of information. The report will let you make a sensible and informed decision about whether to proceed with the home purchase. It will also point out areas that you might be able to negotiate with the seller.
Remember, make sure you are present when the inspection takes place. Choose a highly recommended inspector to do the work. Ask lots of questions.
Our home inspections are as thorough as they come. We make sure that you have a report you can trust. Our home inspectors are experienced and ready to answer any questions you might have.
To find out more about our inspectors and the services we offer, contact us today. We want to help you find the home of your dreams!