An Insight into Home Inspection
Purchasing a home is one of the most important decisions that the average person will ever make in their lifetime. It is a complicated process that involves a massive financial investment and should, therefore, be taken seriously.
Just like any other significant purchase, homes have different features and specifications. While it is true that features help to sell a home, it is also crucial to make sure that everything about the property is in good shape before falling for what is visible on paper. Knowing what you are signing up for before you acquire a property will help you avoid any future inconveniences. One way to do this is through a home inspection. This is a key step in the home buying process that should neither be rushed nor overlooked. It is even more important to know what to expect from it. Read the following article to get a gist of what home inspections are all about.
What Does A Home Inspector Look For?
Home inspectors ensure that the property is in top shape before the potential buyer can commit themselves. They basically examine the following for potential problems:
- Structural components - A home inspector examines the foundation to ensure it is stable and the crawlspace in the attic to look for water penetration or condensation. They also check the walls for cases of mold or leakage from pipes and if there are cracks on the floor. The ceilings should also show no signs of leakage.
- Roofing - They carefully examine the roof for any loose tiles or shingles and test the flashing to ensure it is as tight as required. They look at the gutters to confirm that the drainage is proper and that there is a tight connection to all parts of the house. Finally, chimneys and skylights have to be appropriately sealed.
- Plumbing - plumbing appliances such as piping, drains, waste systems and vents are tested for any signs of leakage. The water inlet and outlet should be fine and all drains are checked for the presence of mineral deposits, seepage and the right filtering apparatus. Inspectors may also check the water for bacteria.
- Electrical - Inspectors conduct an examination of all electrical components to see if they are properly fitted and that they are operating efficiently. This also includes the position of the smoke and CO2 detectors.
- HVAC - The whole heating and AC system is closely monitored to ensure that it is functioning properly and whether the appropriate filters have got any accumulation. The supplying piping is checked for rust or corrosion and the chimney has to be clear with no blockages.
- Interiors and exteriors - A home inspector will scan the floors, counters, doors, staircases, windows, cabinets and other internal components to look for faults in their functionality. The same is true for the exteriors to shed light on any additional caulking that may be required to prevent seepage of water. Window seals, tread steps, and other parts of the exterior are also inspected for any repair needs.
Things A Home Inspection Does Not Cover
While there a lot of issues that are examined by a home inspector, the following do not fall under the home inspection:
- Pest control: A home inspector will not scan your house for any existence of pests. Pests can be such a menace to any homeowner and even lead to significant damage. Birds can nest in and block the chimney; raccoons eat through the ceiling, while rats and termites can be a nightmare. Unfortunately, this doesn’t fall under the home inspection package.
- Swimming pools: If the property to be purchased has facilities such as a swimming pool, hot tub, or sauna; these will not be covered in the general home inspection. It may necessitate the potential owner to hire a private specialist to look for any faults in these amenities.
- Radon test: Some homes may have elements of radon, a radioactive chemical element that is known to cause lung cancer. A home inspection will not include a radon test on the to-do list. The potential buyer may have to get a certified service provider to do this.
- Lead paint: The paint job in the home which is under consideration may contain lead paint, which is a major cause of lead poisoning. House inspectors do not conduct such tests when they are doing their job.
- 5. Asbestos: A home inspection doesn’t test for the presence of asbestos.
Home Inspection Guarantees
The following guarantees come with a home inspection:
- 90 Day warranty - The warranty is valid for 90 days from the inspection date. It covers repairs to any items that the home inspector may have verified to be in the right working condition during the inspection. The buyer won’t have a deductible to repay and any claims are handled within 3 days of completion.
- Accuracy assurance guarantee - This provides protection of covered systems and components on claims due to any pre-existing conditions that weren’t recorded in the inspection report. Sellers are covered during the listing whereas buyers rest assured that any cost of appliance components is catered for in case there is an oversight.
Who Bares the Cost of a Home Inspection?
Generally, the buyer takes care of the home inspection cost. The inspector works specifically for the buyer, who hires a licensed service provider of their choice. In the event the buyer has no preferences; the realtor will usually make recommendations. What should be noted is that during the home inspection, the process also includes the inspection negotiating tool which is for the sale price of the property. However, in the event there is a red flag in the inspection as a result of unforeseen circumstances, the seller and buyer can agree on repairs or place funds in escrow for the repair. The buyer also has the chance to carry on with the repairs themselves in which the offer is null and void since the inspection was below the required standard.
What Is the Cost of a Home Inspection?
There isn’t any set standard guiding how to calculate the overall price of a home inspection. Inspectors may quote different figures for the fee using distinct methods. However, according to the Housing and Urban Development department, the average home inspection will cost between $300-$500 dollars. Small houses and condos covering less than 1000 sq feet can cost as little as $200, whereas larger homes of more than 2000 square feet can cost at least $400. Nonetheless, it should be noted that these quotes do not consider configuration, specific location, size, or inspector’s competence. These factors can influence the cost of an inspection. Tests for mold will cost extra but will usually cost less if it is purchased together with the home inspection.