Home Buyers: The Importance of Hiring a Home Inspector

A home buyer should insist upon a home inspection being performed! In fact, a satisfactory result of the home inspection should be a contingency of the offer to purchase a home.

If the home inspector finds problems or situations that need to be addressed that the seller is not willing to correct, the offer to purchase could be null and void, or findings by the home inspector could end up being points of negotiation between the seller and the potential buyer.

A home inspector will evaluate and inspect every inch of the home-inside, outside, under and over. In other words, everything from the crawl space to the chimney should be inspected as well as all system within the house.

Generally, the home inspector will walk around the exterior of the home to see if there are any glaring problems, such as loose siding, chipped or cracked paint around exterior trim or windows and cracks in the foundation. The home inspector will also check the downspouts and gutters to be sure they’re firmly attached and functioning

If the house has a crawlspace, the inspector will crawl under the house and check the foundation from under the house, check the beams and supports in the floor, check for dampness and any other obvious problems.

The home inspection will also include a check of all appliances to be sure they are working properly and often the home inspector will start the dishwasher and let it run through a cycle. The inspector will also turn on the oven’s bake and broil features, turn on the stove burners and run water through the kitchen sink.

Bathrooms will be checked to ensure the toilets are in good working order, sink faucets will be turned on and tubs and/or showers will be checked for water pressure and also for water damage to nearby walls and floors.

The furnace and hot water heater will be checked to ensure they are working properly and the inspector will probably ask when either or both were installed or replaced.

If the home has a fireplace, the inspector will look up the chimney and check the. He will also check for cracks or loose bricks in the chimney. The inspector will also ensure flashing is securely attached around the chimney and that a chimney guard is attached to prevent birds and small animals from getting into the chimney.

The home inspector will do a walk-through of all rooms to check for creaks in the floorboards, sturdiness of stairways and railings, cracks in the walls and ceiling and any water damage or evidence of old leaks on the ceiling or walls.

Finally, the inspector will investigate the attic and interior and exterior of the roof. If the attic is walk-up or “crawl-through” the inspector will go into the attic and check for leaks, sufficient insulation and general soundness of the interior of the roof. Next the inspector will check the roof to ensure there are no loose shingles and that flashings are securely sealed.

The home inspector will provide you with a detailed inspection report, including recommendations for repairs or improvements. Upon receiving the report you can decide if you will ask the home seller to pay for all or part of any work that you want done as part of your offer to purchase.

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