If you think that your responsibility as a home buyer ends the moment you finalize a home and sign the purchase papers, then you are in for a surprise (or should I say shock?)! While it is true that finding your dream home is one of the most difficult and time taking processes, there is more to it. When you buy a home, there are a lot of other duties that come with it.
The first task that you are required to perform as a future owner is the home inspection. Do whatever it takes but don’t skip this step. Till the time you are not at peace that everything is in the right condition in your finalized house, do not move ahead with the purchase. Whether it is the sewage system or a little problem with the roof, not noticing and fixing these issues right in the beginning will only take money out of your pocket in the future. If you are still not convinced with the importance of home inspection, we suggest you give 5 surprising benefits of home inspection a quick read.
As a buyer, you can also hire a home inspector if you feel the need to do so. However, we do not want you to spend any extra money on something that you can very well do yourself. The primary job of a home inspector is to analyze and check various things in the house before giving you a go-ahead. Most buyers decide to hire a professional because they are not aware of the right places to check and inspect. Well, we have got you covered.
To begin with, here is a list of elements that any professional home inspector would look at during a home inspection -
- Heating system
- Central air conditioning system
- Electrical systems
- Attic and Insulation
- Walls and Ceilings
- Windows and Doors
- Structural Elements
We know this is a lot to take in and even though you are briefly aware of all these elements, you would not know what to look for. Based on first-hand experience and information from various home inspectors, we have prepared an elaborate list that will set your home inspection priorities right and will give you clarity on what exactly to look for when you inspect your soon-to-be home.
Also Read: Buyers Guide
Especially if the home is being resold, there are a lot of chances of some damages here and there. You might end up saving a ton of money if you figure these out during the inspection, make a note of them, and discuss them with your seller. It is on the seller to make sure everything is repaired before handing over the ownership to you. Cracked doors, faded walls or ceilings, broken windows, water leakage, etc. are some examples of possible damage.
You will need to carry a measurement tape with you for this. When you were initially house hunting and were presented with this particular property, the seller must have given you a few dimensions for each room of the house. Starting with the measurement of the room, move your way towards the living room, then the kitchen, and so on. Another goal of measuring is to figure out if your current furniture will be suitable for this particular size of the house. If not, you would have to spend some extra money too.
Drainage and Leakage
Thoroughly check the drainage system and ensure that it is proper and has correct sloping. If there is anything even slightly wrong with the drainage system, you might face flooding or clog in the future. Have you thought of checking the ceilings and walls for seepage? Are you sure there is no leakage in the bathroom? It is important to have an answer to all these leakage-related questions. If you want to go a step ahead, you can also ensure that the house that is above you has no leakage in their bathroom since that can spread to your home too.
While you can have a look on your own during the home inspection, you can also schedule another property inspection and get your trusted electrician along with you. When it comes to electricity, safety is an important criterion.
Make your electrician examine the circuits and plug points to make sure they are working and there are no wiring-related issues. Gas pipelines, smoke alarms, air conditioning, and heating systems are some of the components that should be checked for safety and their proper functional condition.
While you do not need to check anything related to amenities, you need to make sure that there is a presence of all amenities that were promised to you. Ask the seller to take you through all the added benefits that you were informed about. In case something is missing or not up to the mark, you can negotiate the deal and get a discounted rate for your purchase.
Heater and Furnace
You already know by now that the first thing you need to check is whether the appliances are functional or not. Apart from that, enquire when these appliances got serviced last and if there is a need to get them serviced again. Servicing is a costly process and you need to make sure you receive all items in operational condition. For the furnace, check its filter and see if it is in the right condition.
A cosmetic fix in the home inspection scenario refers to any attempt that might have been made by the seller or the previous homeowners to cover up any defects. You need to be vigilant and look out for any fixes that look a little fishy or suspicious. If you see a freshly painted patch of wall or a floor tile recently changed, dig deeper.
Go around every nook and corner of your home to check if everything is functional and there are no water leakages. You can also check the water pressure and the equipment to ensure that it is of high quality and in good condition.
The roof is the backbone of your home and its interiors. It needs to be top-notch or you are going to end up spending huge amounts of money to get it fixed. As a beginner, make sure you go up to the roof and analyze everything. Ask when the roof was last replaced and if there is any warranty that is in place. In case the roof has a chimney, tank, or vent, look for any water issues that may exist.
Molds are commonly found on walls and ceilings. Even if you find a small one, do not just let it slide. Did you know that this small piece can cause diseases like asthma and tuberculosis with the allergens that it releases in the air? Mold is not just bad for your health, but it can also be the cause of a bigger issue that needs attention and fixing.
Remember that a home inspection might be your last chance to figure out if there is anything wrong or incomplete with your chosen home. For best results, make sure you show up and ask as many questions as you can think of.
On the other hand, we also understand that you are not a qualified professional so you can’t figure everything out on your own. As a solution to this, take a camera with you. Whenever you think something is not quite right or you come across a maintenance issue that you do not have any knowledge about, take a picture for future reference. You will get ample time to go back home and reflect on your observations. If need be, you can also consult someone for help or come up with a home inspection report for yourself and your seller.
The sooner you do the home inspection, the closer you are to getting the home that you initially expected it to be!