My husband and I decided to purchase a house in 2002. The house we decided to purchase was 19 years old and no one had lived in the house for over a year. The previous owners had passed away. Our realtor had informed us that we should consider having a home inspection done to make sure that there would no costly repairs or headaches later on. Here are the key things that our home inspector looked at which is something all new home buyer and sellers should be aware of before buying or selling a home. This home inspection was done in New York and every state has different regulations.
Driveways & Sidewalks
The home inspector will first check the outside of the home including the grounds. He will check blacktop driveways and sidewalks for cracks, erosion, trip hazards and poor drainage. The inspector will check the slope toward the foundation to make sure that water does not come towards the house and if any trees or plants touch the house that may be locking moisture in.
Decks & Porches
If your potential new home has a porch or deck the inspector will check the steps, and railings to make sure they are not uneven or loose. He will also look to see if any sections are damages, or missing.
The inspector will check all stairs leading into the home for damage, loose rails, loose steps and improper landings.
Fences & Gates
If there is a fence or gate the inspector will look to see if there are rotted posts, cracks, loose or missing sections or boards, and will check the latches to make sure that they lock properly. If there is a swimming pool will also make sure that there is a fence around that pool.
Condition of Roof and Gutters
The inspector will look for loose shingles, if there are any missing, and if there are any cracks or curling of shingles. He was also advice you if it is nearing the end of its useful life. The inspector will look at gutters and downspouts for blockage, disconnections, or loose areas, to make sure that there is proper drainage from the roof.
Exterior Doors & Garage
During the inspection he will check to make sure that exterior doors are not rotted, and that they open and close properly, and lock. He looks at weather stripping and sealants to be sure that no water or air comes in and for loose hinges.
If your potential new home has a garage he will look at the floor to make sure there are no cracks, and if it has settled or not. He will look at the conditions of the walls and ceilings for moisture stains, or holes. If you have a garage opener, vehicle door it is called, he will make sure that it is working properly, if the door is warped and will inspect wires, rollers, and springs to make sure that it operates safely.
Condition of Chimney
The inspector will check the condition of the bricks if they are cracked, deteriorated and if the chimney is leaning or not.
Inspection of interior and exterior windows and walls
The inspector will check for broken glass, and condition of the window frame and if they need to be replaced or sealed.
He will inspect all drywall throughout the inside of the house for water stains, damage such as cracks or holes.
The inspector will check all water connections throughout the house and test them by flushing the toilet, turning on all water faucets in the home in sinks and also the tub. Will check for leaks coming from the pipes or faucets coming from underneath the sinks in your kitchen and bathroom. Will also see if drains are slow draining and if traps need to be replaced. The inspector will also check out the water heater to make sure that there is a water shutoff valve installed and a TPR valve. He will check the burner flame to make sure that is it functioning properly.
He will turn on your heating system to make sure that heat distrubutes throughout the home correctly. Will check the controls, filters, duct work and venting pipes. The inspector will make sure that the burner works correctly.
The inspector will check the electrical box to make sure that everything is labeled and will turn on and off every switch on the box. He will look for wires hanging, loose wires throughout the home. That all outlets are grounded and polarized properly. This is where he will also check any air conditioning unit you may have. Our inspector also checked all ceiling fans we had by turning them on and off and making sure they were connected and running properly.
Trims & Molding
He will check the entire house for loose, damaged and missing trims and molding. The inspector will also check the condition of the running boards under your kitchen cabinets.
The home inspector will check any garbage disposals to make sure they operate correctly, will examine the blade, and wiring to it. Also will look at your range to make sure that a shutoff valve is installed if gas, will turn it on to make sure that the burner operates properly, and if there is a fan/hood that is operational.
If your home has a dishwasher he will also inspect the condition of the door, liner and racks and if there is leaks at the drain lines.
He will look at the condition of your kitchen floor to see if the linoleum or vinyl is cracked, curling or extremely worn. Also will inspect kitchen cabinets for missing or loose cabinet doors, or warping and settling of the cabinets.
Other than making sure the toilet flushes he will check for leaks coming from the pipes, and check the wax seal and if the toilet is loose or not connected to the floor. He will inspect the counter and cabinet to see if caulking is needed this also goes for the shower. He will make sure that there is proper outlets near any water that has the emergency shut off so you don’t get electrocuted. The inspector will look at the exhaust fan and make sure one is installed in the bathroom.
He will turn on the tub and shower to make sure there is proper drainage, water pressure and no leaks coming from the shower heads or faucet handles. Also will see if there is water stains or odor.
Attic or Crawlspace
The inspector will check insulation of all attics and crawlspaces. Also for wires, loose boards in the floor, any holes or damage to the ceiling such as moisture.
Why you should have a home inspection
We paid $200 for our house to be inspected and what we found out was that the roof was not going to make it through the Spring, it was falling apart and we would get severe water damage when it rained. We approached the sellers of the house with the written report the inspector gave us. We were able to get them to pay for half of the roof replacement. This saved my husband and I over $1500 in repairs.
In my opinion it is better to know what is wrong with a house before you buy it, so you are prepared on what headaches you will have and how many things will need repair. For us it gave us piece of mind in buying our home.