When you have a home inspection, what is looked at, and where? As you know, home inspection is a must do when you are buying a property. If you are buying a complete fixer to level and build a brand-new house, maybe you can skip it. Other than that, it is a crucial step in the home buying process.
where & What DO home inspections COVER
From roof to foundation, it’s mostly a visual inspection (without opening up walls). Some inspectors use a behind-the-wall moisture meter, an infrared temperature gun.
Here’s a list of the items (not a complete list):
- Structural: Roof, gutters, attic, ceiling, siding, foundation, crawlspace, driveway, deck, landscape drainage around house, chimney, windows, drywalls.
- Mechanical: Water heater, garage door, garbage disposal, fireplace, most of the appliances.
- Plumbing: Indoor water piping and drainage, faucets, sink, bathtub, shower, any visible leaks.
- Electrical: Electrical outlets GFCI, electrical panel wiring, smoke alarms, CO2 alarms, lights, fans.
- Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) – not as thorough as HVAC specialist can: Furnace, air duct, air conditioning unit, ductless system.
- Fuel system: gas line, oil line.
- Insulation/ventilation: Attic space, sub floor in crawlspace, ventilation pipes. vapor barriers, mold.
- Pest/Insects: Ants, termite, other wood destroying insects, rats, birds, etc.
- Any other environmental issues at surface level: landscaping around the house, sidewalks, driveway, vegetation, tree roots.
Additional Inspection Areas
You may need to hire separate inspection companies for the following:
- Underground oil tank location
- Underground septic system
- Sewer line inspection
- Radon gas level test, Importance of radon test
- Air quality test…
Which home inspector to choose
You need to find and hire a licensed/bonded/experienced home inspector with great reviews and recommendations. As a 15-year+ realtor, I notice many repair items when I walk into a house, but a great inspector will find even more issues in any home. A great inspector can save you a lot of money and from any issues that can affect the resale value in the future as well.
If buyers want my recommendation of home inspectors, I may only recommend who I’ve worked with and who I’d hire for my own home purchase. They need to be knowledgeable, detail oriented, professional and willing to look deeper into any issues that may affect the living quality.
- Check online reviews: Better Business Bureau® (https://www.bbb.org/), Google, Yelp, etc.
- Ask your Realtor for recommendations. Good Realtors know good home inspectors.
- Ask to see sample inspection report.
- Check their pricing and what’s included.
home inspection FAQs
Q: When to do home inspection?
A: After your offer gets accepted by the seller and before the inspection contingency period ends, typically.
Q: Why do they need insurance and bond?
A: Most of the states regulate the home inspection license to standardize the qualification, knowledge level, state building codes and coverage of home inspection to make sure home inspections are done properly for buyers. Insurance/Bond portion is necessary in case of any damages that may occur during inspections, such as pipe bursting, toilet overflowing, personal injury, damage to personal property, etc.
Q: Can my father who has a general contractor’s license inspect?
A: Yes, he can, but I would not recommend it for many reasons. It may not be allowed by local real estate rules and not be considered as a professional home inspection. Also, too many potential issues related to liability, incident coverages and potentially losing leverage in repair negotiations.
Related content for home buyers:
Check out Oregon Home Buying Process and timeline here: https://shawn-realty.com/oregon-home-buying-process-and-timeline/
Things to know when buying a brand new home: https://shawn-realty.com/things-to-know-before-buying-a-new-home-reeds-crossing-hillsboro-oregon/