What to Expect From Your Home Inspection


You have been searching for what seems like forever for your perfect home, and you think you have finally found it. It has everything on your must-have list and even a few of the things off of the nice-to-have list. Visibly, it seems like it is in great condition, but this is such a significant financial decision that you can’t just rely on visibly great.

To ensure that you aren’t sending yourself into a huge financial downspin, you need to invest in a home inspection prior to signing on the dotted line. A professional home inspection has the potential uncover any possible issues with the home, allowing you to have a big picture of what you are purchasing.

Locating a Professional Home Inspector

If you are a first-time home buyer, you may not even realize that you should hire a home inspector. Prior to making a bid on a home, get a home inspection done or ensure that your offer is conditional on the results of a professional home inspection.

To locate a home inspector, many individuals will seek out personal recommendations from family and friends. In some cases, you may be able to ask your real estate broker for recommended inspectors. While these recommendations are incredibly helpful, it is important that you perform your own research to ensure that you are only doing business with a qualified and experience inspector.

There are some states throughout the country that require inspectors to carry certain certifications. For states that do not have these requirements, homeowners can find assurance in the professionalism of an inspector if they are members of groups like the American Society of Home Inspectors.

Prior to hiring a home inspector, it is very important that you conduct interviews. Ensure you request information about their previous experience and familiarity with the specific kind of home that you’re purchasing. For instance, if an inspector doesn’t have experience with historic homes and you’re buying one, you may want to look elsewhere as there are intricacies with historic homes that an inspector will need to deal with. Make sure to also ask what he or she will include in the inspection and the final report.

What Inspectors Should Look At

When an inspector conducts a home inspector, he or she should thoroughly assess the home’s physical structure in addition to important internal systems. The inspection should include the following systems and components:

  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • HVAC
  • Radon detection equipment
  • Roofing
  • Windows and doors
  • Ceiling, walls, and flooring
  • Foundation
  • Attic
  • Basement
  • Insulation

Though a home inspection will provide you with a bigger picture of the condition of the home, there is still the chance that it won’t uncover some hidden issues like mold, asbestos, or pests. In addition, it won’t uncover imperfections in areas that are inaccessible to the home inspector like septic tanks or wells. For these problems to be identified, additional inspections will be necessary.

For instance, to identify carpenter ants, termites, or other types of pests, a Wood Destroying Insect Inspection will need to be obtained. Over 30 different states actually require that you obtain a pest inspection prior to the closing of a home loan. However, even in the event that you live in of the states that do not require this type of inspection, it is still a good idea to get one for safety measures.

What Is Your Role During a Home Inspection?

When the home inspection is being performed, you should try to be in attendance. You can follow alongside the home inspector and ask questions. If you are unable to be present for the inspection, make sure to schedule a time to meet with the inspector afterward to go over information in the inspection report in depth.

If you have any questions or concerns about any issues or how you should take care of certain areas of the home, don’t hesitate to ask. However, make sure that you do not get in the way of the inspector as he or she is performing the inspection. You should also make sure to not perform your own inspection. For instance, don’t turn on a sink faucet to test it while the inspector is in the middle of testing the shower, as this could alter the inspection results.

In addition, you should keep in mind that the inspection is only a snippet of the whole picture. For instance, if the inspection is performed during the summer, keep in mind that the home may perform differently during the fall or winter seeing as how the conditions will be different.

The Inspection Report Card

As soon as the evaluation is completed, you will receive a detailed report with the findings. Don’t be worried if you notice a number of deficiencies on the report. Home inspections are very thorough and detailed, so it is not uncommon for anywhere from 50 to 100 issues to be noted—most of these relatively small in nature.

The inspection report should detail the severity of each listed issue as well as potential estimates of how much it may cost to remedy each issue. Make sure to request clarification from the inspection if anything is unclear.

If the home inspection identifies more issues than you are comfortable with, you can opt to remove yourself from the sale or you can enter into negotiations with the seller and attempt to have him or her lower the price or make the necessary repairs. In the event that you are pleased with the current state of the home or the state of the home after the seller meets the terms of your discussions, you can move into the home knowing that the home is in good condition.

If you would like to learn more about home inspections, reach out to the professionals at Southern Valley Services.

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