Home Inspection Basics For Home Buyers

A home inspection is highly recommended for all home buyers, especially those who are purchasing older homes.  Home inspections are normally not required by the mortgage lender but having a professional home inspector inspect the potential new home of a home buyer is worth every penny in the event if the home inspector discovers major hidden defects with the potential home purchase.  A home inspection is normally ordered prior to the appraisal so in the event if there are some serious defects with the home, the buyer can cancel the purchase contract or the buyer and seller can negotiate the purchase contract.

Home Inspectors

Home inspectors are not regulated by the federal government and do not need to be licensed in many states.  Many home inspectors are trained by private home inspection academies or are trained through their company’s in house training programs.  If a home buyer hires a home inspector, the home inspection should include the following inspection:

  • Structure of the home:  The main construction of the framing, walls, ceilings, flooring, roof, and foundations should be examined and any defects should be noted.
  • Exterior of home inspection:  General exterior should be inspected by the home inspection which includes the siding,   general landscape, grades, elevations, drainage of the surrounding property, gutters and downspouts, windows, doors, electrical, lights, switches, and driveways.
  • Roof and Attic:  Roof and attic should be checked for proper framing and ventilation, flashings, leakage, mold, and other potential defects.
  • Plumbing:  General plumbing should be checked and any leakage should be noted.  Home inspector should check if all plumbing is done per code and any potential defects.  All plumbing fixtures should be checked if it is in proper working condition and/or leaks.
  • Mechanicals which includes HVAC, chimneys, electrical panels, garage door openers, water heaters, water softners, and sprinkler systems.
  • Appliances which includes refrigerators, dishwashers, washers, dryers, microwaves, ovens, garbage disposals, alarm systems, and other systems should all be checked and see if they are functional and per code.

Home Inspection Report

A home inspector should write a detailed report on items he or she deems to be unsafe or short in its life span.  For example, the home inspector should not short life expectancy on roofs, furnaces, air conditioning units, appliances.  A home inspector is a general practicioner and might not be an expert in every field but will know a little bit of every aspect of home inspection.  For example, a home inspector may not be licensed or certified in asbestos remediation but should know that the subject property might have asbestos issues.  If a home inspector points out a potential issue, it will be up to the home buyer to hire a specialist to consult with a specialist in the field if they want to look at the matter further and see what the costs are to repair them.  It is normally a home inspectors job to give you an estimate of what a repair will cost.  Some home inspectors might give you a ball park going rate on certain repairs while others will not.

What Is In The Home Inspection Report

Your home inspector will complete a home inspection report after he has reviewed his home inspection.  Just because the home inspector notes many defects in the subject property does not mean it is a deal killer.  Some items might be extremely minor defects like replacing a ten dollar light fixture or replacing a receptacle or two.  There are home inspection reports that yield major potential problems like foundation issues or structural issues.  A home inspection is highly recommended to all home buyers.  The few hundred dollars that a home inspection charges is a great insurance policy that your new home purchase will not have any major defects.  Again, it is up to the home buyer whether or not they will have a home inspection done.

By Gustan Cho


The information contained on Gustan Cho Associates website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for products offered by The Gustan Cho Team @ Gustan Cho Associates or its affiliates. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and/or guest writers of Gustan Cho Associates Mortgage & Real Estate Information Resource Center website and do not reflect the policy of Gustan Cho Associates Lenders Network, its officers, subsidiaries, parent, or affiliates.

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