Buying a home or apartment is a very exciting time in life. However, before rushing into a decision based on excitement, there are a few things that you have to do. Of course, you need to make sure the home is affordable enough, but also make sure it is right for your family and in a neighborhood that you love.
However, one of the most important things to do is making sure your new home gets a home inspection. A home inspection is an in-depth examination on the quality and condition of a home. It is generally done at the time of sale and is an inexpensive way to make sure the home you are buying isn’t hiding anything or in need of any incredibly expensive fixes.
Instead of simply inspecting a home by yourself, you should enlist the help of a certified home inspector. These people are trained and educated about the things to look for that can help you make a purchase decision. They will look at everything you could imagine to make sure it is suitable to live in. A home is a massive investment, so you want to know as much about the home you buy as possible.
If possible, you should try and attend your home inspection with your expert, as it will teach you the kinds of things they look for. These can generally take a few hours, but the length will depend on the size, age and style of the home, of course.
If you don’t do an inspection, or perform a lackluster one, you risk not catching something wrong, and then being on the hook to fix it yourself, which can be pricey. This inspection gives you peace of mind and ensures that the home you are looking to buy is in good shape.
Now that you are aware of the importance of a home inspection and why you should never purchase a home without one, what are some things that you (or your inspector) should be sure to look for during one?
1. Check the HVAC System
Wherever you live, one of the most important things in any home is making sure your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning are working as expected. This means that one thing every inspector should check is the HVAC system in a home.
While they can check to make sure it’s working at the time of the purchase, they should also be able to tell you how long that specific model should be able to work for before replacing. If it is nearing the end of its life cycle, perhaps you could ask for a cheaper price on the home from the seller.
Not only are these things important to have working and functional, but they can also cost a fair amount to try and fix. So if this isn’t checking during your home inspection, you could be in for quite the bill to pay for.
2. Be sure to inspect the roof
Unfortunately, because the roof has to deal with rain, wind, snow, hail and extreme heat, it is often one of the things that get damaged most frequently in homes. Many insurance claims site roof problems and many home buyers and sellers might not even know how to tell whether a roof is bad or not. Sometimes it’s clear to see if shingles are damaged or broken; however, it isn’t always so easy.
Your inspector should be sure to check under the shingles to make sure the elements aren’t wet, damaged or cracked. Fixing a roof can be quite expensive and time consuming, so instead of paying for it yourself after already dropping a few hundred thousand on a home, be sure to have it inspected before purchasing a new home.
3. Ensure the foundation is solid
A house can have a gorgeous layout and be completely updated and renovated, but if it has a bad foundation, it should be avoided. The foundation and structure of a home should be solid, in good shape and not have a ton of cracking or be prone to leaks.
Just like roofing issues, issues with the foundation can be incredibly expensive and labor intensive to deal with, so it is best to either get them looked after before you move in, or keep looking until you find a home with a solid and sturdy foundation.
4. Check the electricity systems
The electricity in the homes we look at is something most of us brush off, but we shouldn’t. Your electrical system should be suitable for the era and for the types of electronics and utilities that you will be using. Unfortunately, many old homes will have outdated or potentially dangerous electrical systems in place.
For example, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, knob and tube wiring was extremely common, but is quite dangerous as the system isn’t grounded. This is just one of the many electrical issues that your inspector should be sure to look for and comment on.
In conclusion, buying a home without a home inspection is never idea, no matter what the seller might say or claim. Hopefully this article has also helped you see and learn the sorts of things that you should be sure to look for and check in a home inspection. Of course, there are many things not included in this article that you should make sure to check, as well.