What Your Home Inspection Should Cover
Inspections are a necessary tool for all home buyers when purchasing their first, second, or third home. There are homes that can hide major defects, problems, and damage unseen by the untrained eye.
It helps to hire the services of a licensed inspector. A real estate inspector can be a tremendous tool for you when making your decision on a home purchase. It also gives you insight as to what repairs are needed before you actually purchase your home. Remember, not all inspectors were created equal, so here you'll find a few guidelines on what too look for when performing your own visual inspections.
What To Look For While Inspecting Your Home
Siding: Look for dents or buckling
Foundations: Look for cracks or water seepage
Exterior Brick: Look for cracked bricks or mortar pulling away from bricks
Insulation: Look for condition, adequate rating for climate (the higher the R value, the more effective the insulation is)
Doors and Windows: Look for loose or tight fits, condition of locks, condition of weatherstripping
Roof: Look for age, conditions of flashing, pooling water, buckled shingles, or loose gutters and downspouts
Ceilings, walls, and moldings: Look for loose pieces, dry wall that is pulling away.
Porch/Deck: Loose railings or step, rot
Electrical: Look for condition of fuse box/circuit breakers, number of outlets in each room
Plumbing: Look for poor water pressure, banging pipes, rust spots or corrosion that indicate leaks, sufficient insulation
Water Heater: Look for age, size adequate for house, speed of recovery, energy rating.
Furnace/Air Conditioning: Look for age, energy rating. Furnaces are rated by annual fuel utilization efficiency; the higher the rating, the lower your fuel costs. However, other factors such as payback period and other operating costs, such as electricity to operate motors.
Garage: Look for exterior in good repair; condition of floor—cracks, stains, etc.; condition of door mechanism.
Basement: Look for water leakage, musty smell.
Attic: Look for adequate ventilation, water leaks from roof.
Septic Tanks (if applicable): Adequate absorption field capacity for the percolation rate in your area and the size of your family.
Driveways/Sidewalks: Look for cracks, heaving pavement, crumbling near edges, stains.
It's is very important that you get professional real estate inspections on your properties. Doing so allows you to discover items to repair that are usually not seen by the untrained eye. It also serves as a form of reassurance that your next real estate purchase is a good one.
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