Home Inspection

A home inspection is normally done by most home buyers.  A home inspection is not required by mortgage lenders and it is optional.  However, the cost of a home inspection is worth every penny.  Many home buyers confuse a home appraisal with a home inspection.  A home appraiser is not a home inspector and will only note defects of the subject property that is obvious.  A home appraiser will check to see if the HVAC systems, plumbing systems, and electrical systems are operational but will not delve into the condition nor the longevity left with all mechanical systems.  There can be hidden faulty wiring and pipes that are not visible to the average person.  Home inspectors are professionals trained to find potential defects such as foundation problems, mold, and faulty work done to the home without proper permits.

Home inspectors will test all appliances, check for structural problems of the home, check attics and basements, run all faucets, showers, and toilets, check for faulty wirings, and even check to see if there are foundation issues.

What Items Should Be Inspected By A Home Inspector?

Every part of the home should be inspected by the home inspector.  The exterior of the home, the interior of the home, the basement, the attic, all electrical systems, all plumbing systems, heating and air conditioning systems, appliances, and ammenities that come with the home such as outdoor kitchens, pools, saunas, and whirlpools.  A keen professional home inspector will also check for defects in foundations, defects in construction, insulation, work that have been performed and completed without proper permits, and other potential issues, large or small, that can create a potential problem for a home buyer after they close on their home.  Even though the home inspector will comb every square inch of the subject property he or she is inspecting, you should address any concerns or issues that you might have.

Potential High Cost Repairs

There are items that a home inspector should thoroughly inspect because if there are defects, it can mean thousands of dollars in repair costs for the home buyer after they close on their home.

The roof should be scrutinized and see that there are no leaks or potential leaks.  There are ways of detecting potential roofing problems by going to the attic to see if there are any wetspots.  A home inspector may or may not go on top of the roof to inspect if the roof has been properly flashed and to see how many layers of roofing are on the roof.  The maximum about of layers allowed in most municipalities per buidling code is no more than three layers of roofing.  There are homes with more than three layers of roofing but that can create a potential problem if there is a lot of snow in the winter season due to the weight load.  A tear off roofing job will be the ideal situation.  If the home has a chimney, a chimney inspection should also be done.  Many professional inspectors who run into a situation where they are not experts in will consult with an expert in the field where he or she has questionable concerns.  The home inspect will notify the home buyer and will most likely charge an extra due to consulting with an expert.

Certain areas in the United States have homes built on flood zones and/or on top of hillsides where a home inspector may recommend a geologist to perform a geological analysis.  This can be costly but in the long run can save a home buyer thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in the future.

Sewer, Well, And Septic Inspection

Well and septic systems can cost thousands of dollars.  Home buyers who have a well and septic system should get a well and septic inspection.  A home inspector will most likely not be able to do this inspection and a well and septic specialist most likely need to be hired to perform a well and septic inspection.  A new well can cost more than $10,000 and so can a damaged septic system.  Sewer defects can definitely disrupt your home and can also be quite costly.

Termite Inspection

Mortgage lenders do not require termite inspection for all home purchases if the home buyer waives the termite inspection report on the real estate purchase contract.  Termite inspections are not too expensive and most termite inspectors charge no more than $100.  Termites can do severe damage to a home’s structure and a termite inspection is really recommended.  A termite inspector is a different inspector than a home inspector.

Asbestos And Mold Inspection

A home inspector normally inspects the home for mold issues.  If a home inspector sees signs of mold, he or she will note it on his home inspection report.  To find out the severity of the mold problem on the subject propety, a mold inspection and remediation company needs to be hired for a full mold inspection report.  .

Older homes may have asbestos and a mortgage lender may require an abestos inspection on homes built prior to 1975.  Asbestos is normally found on insulation around water heating systems, pipes, and ducts.

Room Additions, Finished Basements, Finished Attics

If the subject property has had a room addition or finished basement and/or attic, you need to find out whether the addition or remodeling was done per code and there is no electrical, plumbing, or HVAC hazards.  Room additions will require permits and you need to ask to see copies of permits, drawings, and certificate of occupancy from the city.  If work has been done without proper permits, make sure that the work has been done per code and that there is no potential hazards.

Inspection on homes can be quite costly if it goes beyond the basic home inspection.  However, a home purchase is probably the biggest investment a person will have and if the home inspector recommends specialty inspections such as well and septic inspection, termite inspection, structural inspection, or other inspection due to signs of potential defects, then the money spent on an inspection will be worth every penny.  In the event if there are issues with the home you intend on purchasing, then you can get out of the real estate purchase contract and get all of your earnest money back.  As far as the inspection fees, the cost of your home inspection will be non refundable but you could have avoided a potential disaster.  Many times when an inspection results comes with defects, the home seller will offer to fix it or a repair credit will be issued.          

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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