Home Inspectors play a crucial role in the home buying process and a buyer may argue that they are one of the most important players. Since a home is usually the most expensive item we ever purchase, it is usually very important that the buyer understand the overall condition of the home. The buyer will want to know if there are any large expenses coming on the home so that they can budget accordingly or walk away from the deal.
A home inspector will perform a non-invasive visual examination of a residential dwelling, for a fee, which is designed to identify issues or potential issues with that dwelling.
According to the National Association of Home Inspectors, there are over 1,600 different items on their list to look at during inspection. So, a home inspector is looking for a lot of potential problems. An example of the items that a home inspector will evaluate are the following:
- Structural Issues The home inspector will look at the foundation of the home. Examples of things they will look for are: Is the foundation solid? Are the window and door frames square? This is a very important item as structural issues can be very expensive to fix. This item is particularly important if you are buying an older home. If there are major structural issues with a home, you should seriously consider walking away from the deal.
- The grounds of the home The home inspector will look for things such as if there are any current or future water issues like standing water or faulty grading or downspouts. Things such as standing water can be an indication that the home does not have proper water runoff.
- Roof Inspectors are looking for issues with shingles, flashing and fascia. Issues or defects with any of those items can be an indication of leaks and lead to expensive repairs. The inspector will also look for defective gutters or issues with chimneys and skylights.
- Exterior IssuesHome inspectors will be looking for cracks, rot, decay or any other issues in brick masonry or stucco. If the home has vinyl siding, they will be looking for any defects such as bowing or denting. The exterior inspection will also indicate if there are any issues with the exterior paint.
- Interior The home inspector looks for a lot of items in the interior of the home. They will look for things like cracks in the wall that may indicate settling issues. They will look for faulty framing and water stains on the ceilings which may indicate water leaks. The inspector will evaluate the heating/air vents to ensure there is proper ventilation. The list goes on and on for the interior but you get the idea.
- Windows, doors, and trimThe inspector will be looking for windows to be in good working order and identify any broken seals. The inspector will look at the frames of windows and doors to ensure there is no rotting and that they have proper calking.
- Kitchen Your home inspector will ensure all of the appliances are in working order. He/she will inspect the range hood fans and the vent to the outside and look for leaks under the kitchen sink. They will also ensure all of the cabinet doors and cabinets are operational.
- Bathroom The inspector makes sure that the toilets work, the drains in the sinks and tubs work, and the showers spray.
- ElectricalInspectors are evaluating if there are enough electrical outlets in each room and if the visible wiring and electrical panels are satisfactory. They will go through each room and make sure that the light switches work.
- Plumbing The inspector will inspect pipes, drains, water heaters, and water pressure and temperature.