6 Secrets to Understand a Home Inspection

Share:

Home inspections are an important part of any real estate transaction. In general, they are an imperative part of the home buying process. Home inspections can help you avoid costly repairs later on and can also save you time and money.

As a homebuyer, you want to make sure that the property you are investing in is in good condition. It is especially important to have a property inspection if the buyer is purchasing a home that is a fixer-upper. There could be serious issues vs. buying a turnkey house.

What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is a routine inspection of a property to assess its condition and potential repairs.

It is recommended for a buyer to have a property inspection as part of the purchase contingencies. A home inspector will check for structural issues, water damage, and other problems that may need attention.

The cost of an inspection varies depending on the location and type of inspection performed. A full home inspection may include an evaluation of systems such as heating, air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical.

An abbreviated property inspection may just cover areas such as the roof, exterior foundation walls, and attic. Even if you are purchasing new construction, it is recommended to have an independent inspection.

Home Inspection Secrets

When is a Home Inspection Recommended?

A property inspection is recommended for buyers who are considering a purchase in an area where there is a higher incidence of property damage or costly home inspection repairs.

In addition to inspecting general conditions such as insulation levels and drywall conditions, inspectors will look for potential signs of problem areas such as water leaks in the roof and water staining in the ceiling. Home inspectors also look for any kind of water intrusion in the home and this may lead to other inspections.

A home inspection will be completed within the due diligence timeline. The home inspection needs to be completed within the specified timelines when buying a home.

What Do I Need to Know About Home Inspections?

There are a few things you should know before hiring a home inspector including the type of home you are purchasing whether it is a single-family home or a condominium.

A condominium is a residential complex with separate units. The residents own a single unit in the condo complex, and everyone shares the common areas,

Other important factors include the age and the overall condition of the home.

Ideally, as a home buyer, you will have received the seller’s disclosures and will be aware of any past issues with the home. The disclosures provided by the seller will include any defects or problems with the property.

How Can I Prepare for my Home Inspection?

Here are a few things you can do to prepare for your home inspection.

Familiarize yourself with the basic types of home inspections and their objectives. Talk to your inspector in advance so you have an idea of what to expect.

A general home inspection will check for conditions that could lead to problems down the road. Those problems include faulty wiring, a leaky roof, and shifting foundations.

Arrive at the home inspection with a clear mind and a positive attitude. Have a list of questions and items you want to be addressed during the inspection.

It is a good idea to walk around the property, and at the conclusion of the inspection, be sure to ask questions about items not addressed in the summary.

Be sure to check the property for any defects or problems that you are aware of.  Bring photos or written documentation of any defects or problems found. Lack of home maintenance is one of the biggest trouble spots with inspections.

What Does a Home Inspection Include?

Most home inspections will include the following a thorough inspection of the home. A home inspector may start the inspection with the exterior of the property.

They will look at the condition of the roof, eaves, signs of wood rot, condition of stucco, and much more. the inspection will include ensuring that interior and exterior doors are operable. It is a good idea to find out why the doors are difficult to open.

Home inspectors will run the HVAC system including the heating and cooling to ensure they are operable. If the HVAC is not operable, the buyer may request to have another inspection to determine the problems with the heating or cooling.

Home inspectors will also look at windows to ensure they are operable. If screens are missing, then the inspector will note that.

The inspector will also look at the appliances to ensure they are operable. They will look at the fixtures in the home as well to ensure they are not leaking.

How Can a Pre Listing Home Inspection Help You Sell Your House?

A pre-listing home inspection can help you sell your house more quickly. If there are any major problems with the property that are not detectable during a walk-through, the inspector can document these issues and suggest corrective measures.

If you have had any updates or repairs made to the property since your last inspection, be sure to bring documentation of these updates with you when you visit the property.

The pre-listing home inspection should be provided to a buyer once the property is in escrow as part of the disclosures.

Even if a seller is selling the property as-is, it is still a good idea to have a pre-listing inspection so the seller is fully aware of what the buyer may want to negotiate with a request for repairs.

Sellers may be trying to save money when they are selling the home and are trying to get every last dollar. It is still a good idea to spend several hundred dollars to have a home inspection prior to listing.

Even if a seller has their own inspection, it is the buyer’s right to have another inspection with the home inspector of their choosing.

Final Thoughts

An inspection is an important tool for buyers when purchasing a home. It can help you avoid costly repairs and can also save you time and money.

A pre-listing home inspection will ensure that your property is in good condition and ready to be sold. Selling a house in bad condition will net less money.

About the Author: The article “6 Secrets to a Successful Home Inspection” was written by Sharon Paxson, one of the best Newport Beach Real Estate agents. With experience beginning in 2005, representing buyers, sellers, and landlords, we welcome the opportunity to share our expertise with you and guide you through your real estate transaction.

The Importance of Getting a Home Inspection

Share:

The Importance of Getting a Home Inspection

The importance of getting a home inspection should never be overlooked. Inspecting the condition and safety of a home before closing can help you identify safety issues such as mold, electrical issues, carbon monoxide fire hazards, defective roofing, radon, and more.

Any major issue will cause unnecessary spending and heartache once you have moved into the new home.  A home inspection performed by a qualified home inspector is a form of insurance and well worth the cost.

Homebuyers are reminded not to overlook the home’s residential property disclosure form and look for possible safety issues or hazards that the seller notes. Understanding the condition you are buying is one of the essential considerations when buying your first home.

Keep in mind the disclosure form is not the end all be all form regarding home conditions. Certain red flags that home buyers should look out for include structural, mechanical, orImportance of Getting a Home Inspection electrical issues that can be costly to repair.

Make sure to share any concerns with the selected home inspector so they can closely look at those conditions and provide guidance as to what, if anything, may need to be done.

The home inspector will tell you if the home is in bad enough condition that would warrant getting out of the transaction.

In real estate circles, these are known as home inspection deal breakers.

Importance of Getting a Home Inspection

Choosing A Home Inspector

Homebuyers should not be choosing the first home inspector they hear of, whether by referral from their agent or the first name that pops up in an internet search.

Careful attention should be paid to reviews left by other home buyers about the quality of the home inspector’s services.

While a referral from real estate agents may be nice, there is always the risk that the inspector is some part of a referral program where they have to pay to be on that agent’s list, or in order to stay on that agent’s list, they try not to “kill” deals by scaring off buyers.

A home inspector needs to be fully qualified and while certifications are great, having done multiple home inspections is even better.

By having done many home inspections, home inspectors become better at spotting issues and knowing which issues require a second look by a professional in that field.

A good inspector will recognize a problem area and then suggest the home buyer bring in a professional in that field to give a definite diagnosis as to the condition.

Major Areas That Are Usually Inspected:

  • Downspouts and rain gutters
    • Leaky downspouts and gutters can cause premature wear on the surface areas on the outside of the home.  Even worse, they can eventually allow water into the home, causing mold issues, wood rot, and more.
  • Roof, ceilings, walls, and floors
    • The roof is one of the most critical components of the home and keeps the elements out.  The ceilings, walls, and floors are basically the interior four corners of the home.  Problems seen in any of these areas can indicate larger hidden problems.
  • Attic space, garage, and basement
    • Without proper insulation in the attic can be a major source of energy loss and high utility bills.  Garage and basement cracks can mean slipping foundations or bad drainage.
  • House foundation, windows, and doors
    • See below for more information on the structure/foundation of the home.  Windows and doors will be affected in a home that has a shifting foundation.
  • Ventilation, cooling, and heating system
    • This is what will keep the interior of the home well regulated.  It can account for a major portion of the utility bill if the system is old, outdated, or broken.  Bad heating systems can be dangerous for one’s health due to the leaking of toxic gasses!
  • Water heater, faucets, and plumbing fixtures
    • Leaking water in sinks from faucets means pouring money down the drain.  Leaking plumbing behind walls will cause greater damage over time.
  • Power outlets, light switches, and electrical panel
    • Electrical problems can cause shocks or electrical fires.

Structural or foundation issues are serious conditions with a home that should not be ignored.  Foundation issues that are left untreated can lead to more damage and possible safety issues such as cracks, sloped floors, or even the roof failing, which will lead to water intrusion.

Any gaps and cracks in the foundation or structure of the home can also let in pests that can make a living in the home uncomfortable.  Homebuyers should be familiar with all the above aspects of their home as any issues can pop up during normal homeownership.

Home Inspections Can Uncover Illegal Additions

Illegal additions are those done without the proper permits and inspections.  Sometimes contractors do unpermitted work in order to save money.  That money savings can also come at the expense of quality work as well.

A qualified home inspector can identify the quality of work done on home additions/remodels.  Work done without permits could require the homeowner to have the work undone at their own expense or be forced to have every aspect of the project rechecked in order to qualify for the permit.

The new permitting process to get work illegally done properly permitted will cost much more than if the work was properly permitted.

A Home Inspection Gives Peace of Mind

The home inspector provides a deep dive into the quality and operation of a new home which can help home buyers know whether the home they are in contract to purchase is worth the price.

Home inspectors will provide an unbiased opinion on the home as they work for the home buyer and not for the seller or any of the real estate agents involved.

Furthermore, having a property inspected before the purchase can help you make sound decisions about whether that home has all the qualities that you want in it. It can also help identify the pros and cons of the house since it will help point out things that are not always readily visible.

If there are issues that the home inspection uncovered (such as ventilation, doors, windows, insulation, crawl space, fireplaces, electrical wiring, water drainage, smoke detectors, etc.), you can discuss these issues with your real estate agent and use them to negotiate a price reduction or repair of the home before you close on the purchase.

Alternatively, if the issues are too much, the home buyer can cancel the deal and walk away.

If no major flaws were found upon inspection, the home buyer can now have peace of mind and rest assured that the home they are about to purchase is a good investment and move-in-ready.

Final Thoughts

A home inspection is an important part of buying a home.  Under no circumstances should a buyer offer to waive an inspection in order to make their offer more competitive.  Buyer remorse will be even worse once the buyer moves into a home that was not inspected and realizes there are many repair and maintenance issues required to have the homework for them.

The importance of getting a home inspection should never be understated.