What Do Home Inspectors Look For?
If you’re spending $50,00, $100,000, $500,000 or more for a home, it doesn’t make sense to question whether or not to hire a reputable home inspector.
Spending a few hundred dollars up front to inspect the home and then hiring service professionals to fix any detected problems may save you thousands of dollars down the road.
So, it’s a mistake to save money on hiring a professional home inspector because you don’t want to spend the $300 to $600 a home inspection will cost.
The price will depend on the going rate for the real estate region. It will cost you more in the long-run if you pursue this type of false economy. It’s also a grave mistake to do it yourself, even if you are familiar with DIY projects, because it’s easy to be deceived by how things look. And, even if the seller or the real estate agent is honest, they may not know some of the hidden problems in the house.
Home inspectors have a long list of things that they check out, most of which orbit around structural elements and safety concerns. A home inspector will look over the grounds, the roof, the attic, the basement, and the garage.
Some of the things you’ll want to make sure are checked out by a professional include pest infestation, electrical systems, roof damage, and plumbing problems.
Inspecting for Pest Infestation
All sorts of pests could be hiding in the structure of the house or in the yard. The house, for instance, may have cockroaches and termites and spiders. It may also have rodents like rats or mice. The front or backyard could have flies, bees, wasps, or mosquitoes.
If you do find there are issues, it might seem simple enough to go down to the local hardware store or nearby supermarket to buy some household pesticides and do the job of killing pests in your home or garden yourself. But it’s worth calling a professional service to get the job done in a thorough way, destroying not only visible pests but also their eggs and hives.
Once you’ve created a pest-free home, you can maintain things by consistently cleaning the kitchen, getting rid of standing water, and maintain your yard.
Inspecting Electrical Systems
The older the house, the more important it is to completely check all the electrical connections and all the wiring in the home. It’s usually a good idea to continue to have the electrical system inspected every three or five years.
You can even inspect the GFCI outlets once or twice a year yourself by pushing test and reset button.
Inspecting the Roof
Inspecting the roof is fairly easy to do. The home inspector can even do most of the inspection from the ground with a pair of binoculars, looking for signs like ageing, sagging, and other signs of wear and tear. He or she will also see if there are any piles of leaves, algae, or moss piling up, as these could cause leaks as well as water damage.
Inspecting the plumbing is a lot more challenging. The inspector must look at all piping installations that are under the slab. He or she must also check out water supply piping and building sewer.
The inspection will mainly focus on water distribution, which is all the water piping inside the house and under it.
Services That a Home Inspector Provides
There are many variations on what services home inspectors provide. This means that they may not always inspect some of the things that you want them to inspect–like pests, asbestos, lead paint, swimming pools, radon gas, or toxic mold.
If you think that the house may have these problems, then you may want to schedule a certified specialist to look at them.
One of the most important things you need to do before moving into a home you just bought is to get a home inspection. Avoid rushing this step. It’s important to get it done carefully.
Ideally, you should find a home inspector who has the training, certification, and experience to do the work well.