A home inspection probably isn’t required with your mortgage program, but your lender probably highly recommends it, as we do too. The inspection helps you understand the true status of the home. While you probably had the home appraised, the appraiser looks for obvious things that are wrong with the home. He’s not looking at the inner workings of it. That’s the job of the home inspector.
What the Inspection Includes
The inspector will inspect the property top to bottom according to his agreement. Make sure you read the fine print on the agreement before choosing an inspector. At a minimum, you want him to check all major systems in the home. But, if there are other areas of concern, such as crawl spaces, attics, or basements, make sure they are included as a part of the inspection.
In general, you can expect inspectors to look at the following:
- The home’s foundation and structure
- Porches, decks, and patios
- Roofing systems
- Electrical, heating, cooling, and plumbing systems
- All ceilings, walls, and flooring
- Ventilation and insulation
Keep in mind, the inspection will only include things that are visible to the naked eye. The inspector won’t tear down walls or rip up flooring. That being said, though, inspectors are experts and know the telltale signs of issues that could go deeper than the naked eye can see.
What Don’t Inspectors Check?
Just as there’s a basic list of what inspectors do check. There’s also a list of what they don’t check. If you think there may be an issue with any of the following areas in your potential home, you’ll need to hire specialists to inspect the area. They include:
- Pools or hot tubs
- Pest damage
- Well systems
- Mold (unless seen by the naked eye)
- Appliances and/or utilities
Basically, inspectors look at areas that are easy to access and don’t require them to move anything, dig, or break holes into walls.
They will check a representative number of things like light switches and faucets, but they may not test every single one. They also don’t do any specialized tests for asbestos or radon. Most importantly, they probably won’t check every fire or smoke detector in the home – that’s up to you.
Most importantly, inspectors cannot give you an opinion on whether you should buy the home or not. It’s up to you and your attorney and/or real estate agent to make that decision. As long as you pay for an inspection, should be able to make a sound decision regarding the home. If the inspector finds problems, you have the right to ask the seller to negotiate the cost of the repairs or even do them for you. Sellers don’t have to agree though. Sometimes the inspection can be your way out of the contract should there be something wrong with the home.
Assuming everything goes well with the inspection, though, it could be well worth your money to pay for it. You’ll have peace of mind that you are buying a structurally safe and sound home. This isn’t any type of guarantee that nothing will go wrong with the home in the near future, though.Click to See the Latest Mortgage Rates»