What Can I Expect from a Home Inspection?
A home inspection will help you determine whether a home’s sale price is a true indicator of its worth, at least from the standpoint of structural soundness. It takes much of the guesswork out of the purchase, protecting both you and the seller. While most home inspections fortunately do not turn up any major property defects that would cause you to seriously question whether you should move forward with the purchase, there are a few things to be on the lookout for.
Some of the most common major defects discovered during home inspections are:
- Roofing defects due to aging, wear, or improper installation.
- Ceiling stains indicating past or current roof leaks.
- Evidence of flooding in basements and/or crawlspaces.
- Electrical hazards.
- Rotted wood on the exterior or around plumbing.
- Building code violations.
- Fireplace and chimney hazards.
- Improper gas heating system/gas water heater installation.
Very few home inspections result in a completely positive report – inspectors, after all, are paid to thoroughly check homes top to bottom, and few came out with a perfect record. Indeed, over time, wear and tear result in what are most often minor repairs. If any element of a home fails inspection, it doesn’t mean that the home itself is “bad”, but that some aspect of it needs correction.
Typically, sellers will agree to make major repairs prior to sale. Also, buyers will purchase a home with full knowledge of minor flaws and make the repairs later, either as needed, or as part of a more expansive renovation.