The purchase of a home is probably the largest single investment you will ever make. You should learn as much as you can about the condition of the property and the need for any major repairs before you buy, so that you can minimize unpleasant surprises and difficulties afterwards.
Picture this scene, you buy the house – under the assumption it has a new furnace because one of your friends said it looked new – and in a year the furnace breaks. Now what?
A home inspector is going to look at all the mechanicals, the foundation, the roof, and more then give you a detailed report on the condition as of the inspection date.
General Home Inspection Checklist Items
Structural Elements-Construction of walls, ceilings, floors, roof and foundation.
Exterior Evaluation-Wall covering, landscaping, grading, elevation, drainage, driveways, fences, sidewalks, fascia, trim, doors, windows, lights and exterior receptacles.
Roof and Attic-Framing, ventilation, type of roof construction, flashing and gutters. It does not include a guarantee of roof condition- that is something to consider.
Plumbing-Identification of pipe materials used for potable, drain, waste and vent pipes. including condition. Toilets, showers, sinks, faucets and traps. It does not include a sewer inspection.
Systems and Components– Water heaters, furnaces, air conditioning, duct work, chimney, fireplace and sprinklers.
Electrical-Main panel, circuit breakers, types of wiring, grounding, exhaust fans, receptacles, ceiling fans and light fixtures.
Appliances-Dishwasher, range and oven, built-in microwaves, garbage disposal and, yes, even smoke detectors.
(Please note that this will vary from company to company so please ask your inspector for more information)
The serious problems are:
Health and safety issues
Roofs with a short life expectancy
Furnace / A/C malfunctions
Moisture / drainage issues
Some buyers feel a home inspection is unnecessary if they are buying new construction. The problems that aren’t readily identifiable to you such as code violations, a furnace that leaks carbon monoxide or a failing chimney, are the types of defects a home inspector could identify in a new home. Builders’ contractors make mistakes too.
You don’t want to end up in a “Money Pit”