Home inspections are an essential part of the home-buying or selling process. They are being carried out in order to identify all of the repairs and maintenance issues, both minor and major, that need to be addressed. If any significant problems are discovered, you may be able to negotiate a lower price for the house.
And, while every home inspection is usually performed by a certified professional, it is still worthwhile to educate yourself on the subject so that you know what to look for during this process.
Checking the foundation, HVAC systems, and roof, as well as inspecting drainage systems, landscaping, and curb appeal, are just a few of the things you should include on your home inspection checklist. Continue reading to make sure you know what to look out for.
When checking out the roof, you will want to pay particular attention to its condition. Look for any and all signs of deterioration or damage, including shingle curling, missing shingles, leaking gutters, and rusted metal flashing. If you notice any of these problems, you will need to have them repaired before purchasing the home. The same goes for any exposed nails or bad flashing.
The foundation is another thing that should be inspected. Look for signs of any water seepage, such as discolored brick or cinder block, cracks in the foundation, and mold growth on wood or masonry. Also, inspect the basement to make sure there are no signs of water leakage. If you see any of these issues, you will need to contact a professional for an assessment. Of course, it’s possible to learn how to sell a house with foundation problems, but these need to be immediately addressed by a new owner.
Inspect the garage by looking closely at its walls. Look for cracks in the concrete or evidence of water damage such as discolored paint or dampness. Also, look at the ceiling of the garage to make sure it is not cracked. Inspect all of the door and window frames carefully to ensure they are secure. If you discover a damaged panel, you might be interested in garage door panel replacement.
Exterior Doors & Windows
Look for any signs of damage on all exterior doors and windows, including broken locks and windows with chipped or cracked panes. Also, make sure that all of the doors and windows are weather-proofed. Check for proper sealing around the doors and windows as well as any cracks in the frame.
Gutters & Downspouts
Inspect the downspouts and gutters for any clogs or rusting. Make sure that they are properly connected to the downspouts and not hanging below the roof’s surface. Also, look at the screens on the downspouts and be sure they are in good condition.
Check out the landscaping by walking around first. Look for poorly draining areas of the yard as well as dead patches of grass. Also, try to look underneath the house from different angles. This will allow you to inspect things such as dirt and mud build-up under the foundation, as well as evidence of termites.
Curb Appeal Issues
Take a good look at the front of the house, including fixtures such as the doorbell, mailbox, front door, and porch light fixture. Also, check out the driveway and sidewalks for any cracks or chips. Pay close attention to the paint job, too, since it is usually the first thing people notice about a house. When checking it out, look for peeling paint, faded colors, chipped paint due to poor prep work before painting, and storm damage such as hail or wind-blown debris damage.
Porch & Deck
Inspect the porch and deck carefully because these are areas that are usually highly visible from outside of the home. Look at the railing posts as well as their connections for signs of rotting wood or termites. Inspect the floors of the porch and deck carefully to make sure they are level with each other.
Attic & Basement
The attic and basement are also areas that should be inspected. In the basement, look for any signs of water seepage or water damage, as well as any signs of mold or mildew. When checking the attic, look for any signs of leaking or water damage, as well as evidence of rodents, e.g., chewed wires or feces. Also, check out the ventilation.
When checking out the electrical system, look for any signs of water damage. Also, inspect the panel box to make sure it is clean and free of debris. Look around the box for any signs of rusting or corrosion, and make sure that all breakers are correctly fastened. If you notice any issues with the electrical system, you may want to have an electrician come in to take a look at it.
The heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit should also be inspected. Examine it carefully for any signs of leaking, such as rust stains on the ground and insulation around the unit. Also, make sure it is in good operating condition and properly connected to the ductwork. And, when inspecting the ductwork, look for any signs of leaks or mold growth.
Look for mold in all the places you suspect can have moisture issues. It can grow in the drip pan of a furnace or near the outdoor unit of an air conditioner. If you see any mold growth, you will need to treat it before moving into the home.
The plumbing system should be inspected as well. Make sure that it has been recently cleaned and flushed out since this could help identify potential problems. Look at the faucets as well as any exposed pipes for rusting or other signs of deterioration. Also, look for leaks from all of the pipes and hoses.
Toilets & Shower Leaks
Look at all toilets and showers for signs of leaks. Check under toilets for rusted bolts or loose sealant, and look under shower heads for any evidence of rust or corrosion. If you notice anything, you will need to have them repaired before moving in.
Dishwasher & Garbage Disposal Issues
Inspect the dishwasher and garbage disposal, too, since these can be problematic if they are not working properly. Look for leaks around both of these appliances and make sure that a dishwasher hose and garbage disposal hose are attached to the house’s plumbing system. If you notice any issues, you will need to have them repaired before moving in.
Home inspections are an essential part of the home-buying or selling process and, while they are usually performed by a certified professional, it is still worth taking a look at some of these issues on your own. By doing so, you can ensure that the house you are purchasing is in good condition and that there are no major issues with it.
Even if you are planning on renting instead of buying a house, there is still a chance that you will come across some of these issues while your landlord is performing inspections. So, it is always good to know what to look for.