Home Inspection Checklist: What to Expect
Inspection day is typically the most exciting experiences of home buying because it’s usually the first chance you have to view the inside of the home since you made your offer. It’s also the last chance you’ll have until the final walkthrough. Ultimately, it’s your chance to make sure you understand what you’re getting into when it comes to your new home’s condition.
Home inspections don’t just provide you many problem you want to negotiate with the seller, but it’ll give you a detailed report that acts as a “new owner’s home manual.” You should begin preparing for a proper home inspection when you initially tour the home, and before you make an offer.
Nabor Group Inspections put together an important home inspection checklist for you. Use this checklist to understand what to look for ahead of time and in the final report. If any of these items aren’t covered in the report, then ask why not.
Finding an Inspector
You should always hire a professional, licensed home inspector to conduct a proper inspection of your new home. At Nabors Group Inspections, we have some of the top inspectors in the San Diego, Los Angeles, and Orange County areas. Inspectors are usually between $300-$500. Also, make sure you get a home inspection scheduled within your contract timeline.
Plan on being at the home inspection with your agent. Chances are the seller’s agent might be there too, to get any answers the inspector might have. Because inspections take time and you don’t want to rush the process, make sure you clear your entire morning or afternoon. Also, remember that you aren’t being a pest during the inspection. You’re being a learner.
Foundation: Check out the base of the walls and the ceilings in every room. Are there any cracks or obvious shifts in the foundation? Do this around the outside, too. Are there any trees growing around the foundation?
Lot: Is the drainage located away from the house? Are there any soggy areas?
Roof: What is the overall condition of the roof? When was it replaced last?
Exterior: Does the house look like it will need repairs or any repainting sometime soon? Are gutters and downspouts attached? Are there disconnected boards or hanging wires? Is there asbestos in the exterior material, which would require more costs if it needed to be repaired or replaced?
Attic: How does the roof’s interior structure appear? Are there signs of leakage?
Interior leaks evidence: Check ceilings and windows in every room.
Electrical: Do the switches work properly? Are there any malfunctions? Are the outlet grounded? Is the panel up-to-date and expandable for more appliances or a future remodel?
Plumbing: Any strange noises or malfunctions? Has the sewer line been checked for potential cracks?
Appliances: If these are included, what is the stove’s age and condition? Also, what’s the age and condition of the dishwasher and refrigerator?
Heating/cooling system: Does it seem to be working correctly? How old is the furnace? If the system has been updated, are the systems or tanks still in place?
Odor: Does the home have an odd smell? Can you figure out what it might be and whether it could be corrected? Beware of musky or wet odors which could signal a damp basement.
In addition to your own home inspection checklist, make sure you receive a seller’s disclosure statement before your inspection. You can use this statement to help you identify if you want the inspector to look at anything. For example, if the seller discloses a leaking window, make sure the inspector pays extra attention to that. Additionally, another thing to look for is whether any “unpermitted” work has been completed. If so, the work might need to be carefully checked out.
No Inspector is Perfect
The inspection will only identify things they can see in the home. Inspectors aren’t tearing out the walls, and they don’t have X-Ray vision, so the hidden problems aren’t exactly their fault. Make sure you look carefully at your contract. You should understand that many unexpected and not obvious things happen, but that’s part of being a homeowner. An inspector can’t predict the future.
At Nabors Group Inspections, we can provide you top quality home inspections in the San Diego, Los Angeles, and Orange Counties. If you have any questions on the homeowner checklist or home inspections, give us a call at 760-708-6409.