It is important to have a home inspection before signing the papers for a new house.

A house is probably the biggest purchase you will make in your life, so when you buy a house, it is important to be sure that your possible new house has an appropriate home inspection before you sign the papers. Getting a trained home inspector can be an important first step.

You can review the report with your real estate agent to decide how the results could affect the purchase of your possible home.

What Do They Inspect

  • Structural elements: Construction of visible foundations, evidence of collapse or inclination of the structure, and alignment of windows.
  • Safety: Operation of fire alarms and carbon monoxide, of fire sprinklers; condition of stairs, handrails and railings, and garage door openers.
  • Land: Septic tank filtration, proper drainage, and condition of the entrance to the house garage, fences, and sidewalks.
  • Roof: Tile condition, any repair/patch for flat roofs, clean respirators, damage to chimneys, and gutters working properly.
  • Exterior surfaces: Adequate free space between the floor and the wall cladding material, condition of the exterior wall paint or lining, and lights and electrical outlets functioning properly.
  • Attic: Enough insulation, proper ventilation, and any signs of dripping or water damage.
  • Interior pipes: Tubes not damaged or leaking, proper hot water temperature as well as working toilets, sinks, bathtubs, and showers.
  • Electrical system: Condition and type of wiring visible according to standards and proper operation of the fuse box, plugs, lamps, and fans.
  • Appliances: Proper operation of stove, dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave, clothes washer and dryer, and any other appliance.
  • Heating and cooling systems: Boiler condition, air conditioning (if the temperature allows), water heater, and fireplace.
  • Basement: Solid foundations, walls, and floors with no signs of leakage or water damage.
  • Garage: Solid foundations, windows, ceiling, frame and roof; garage door opener running; electrical system conforming to standards; and proper functioning of plugs.

What Do Not Inspect

Again, although there is a variation in what inspectors review, there are areas that are generally not covered by a home inspection. If you suspect any problem or issue in the following areas, you may want to schedule an evaluation of a certified specialist:

    • Pest control
    • Swimming pools
    • Asbestos
    • Radon gas
    • Lead content paint
  • Toxic mold

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