The job of a home inspector is to find the problems with a home. It is that simple. The inspector does not pass or fail a home. He looks for problems, potential problems, health hazards, safety hazards and plain old annoyances. Most of the time problems are found before they become major problems.
Would you, as a buyer of a home, want to find problems before you buy the home and move in? If you wait, then it is too late. If you move into a home without getting a home inspection done then you do not have the opportunity to negotiate with the seller over any issues, major or minor. Once you go to settlement it will be your responsibility to pay for any repairs or replacement that is required.
One common problem that home inspectors find is plumbing problems. These include issues such as leaky laundry connections on washing machines and leaks around pipes and fixtures. He will check and make sure that the water pressure is adequate throughout the house.
A home inspector will check for leaks around the base of toilets, under the kitchen sink and under the bathroom sinks. He will also check all water drains and make sure they are draining properly.
The home inspector will check for what kind of piping is in the house. If the house was built in the 1970s or 1980s, they will want to know if it has polybutlene pipes. This type of piping is known to have problems and may raise a red flag with the inspector. Also homes that are even older may have galvanized piping. This piping is prone to failure especially because if it is present in the home then it has been there for a long time since galvanized pipe has not been used for home plumbing in a long time.
Did you know that more than 40,000 fires occur each year because of faulty electrical systems? Electrical systems are regularly found with problems. As a buyer of a new home you may want to know what is up with your electrical system and be confident that it is good condition.
You will want to know if the electrical outlets work properly. You may want to know if the plugs in the bathrooms, living rooms, kitchen, and in other main areas of the house are using GFCI circuits.
There are many homes that are wired improperly. The breaker boxes may be wired with the wrong type of breakers or the wrong size breaker. Many homes are found with the wrong wire gauge, especially the older homes that have not been updated yet. The home may have a Federal Pacific box that is considered unsafe and replacement is recommended.
These days more people are demanding more electricity for their appliances, computers and other gadgets. Having the proper breaker box is a must to handle all the electrical use.
You may want to find out that your furnace is working properly. Are there any gas leaks? Is your central heating and air conditioning system working properly? Has it ever been serviced by a professional?
A home inspector will look at things like your fireplace and make sure that it is working properly. It is very important to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. This gas is created by combustion from items such as furnaces, water heaters and fire places. It is very deadly and can go undetected by the home owner.
These are just a few things that your home inspector will be looking out for as he performs his evaluation.
He will also be doing things like climbing up into the attic and making sure you have enough insulation so you are not losing dollars. It costs an average of $1000 a year to heat a home. The attic needs careful attention. Insulation also helps in the summer time when you run your air conditioning.
I have only hit on just a few things that the home inspector will be looking at when he comes to review your potential investment. Any one of these items can be very costly to you if they are not found.
It cost pennies to hire a home inspector compared to the investment that you are putting into your home. But that little bit of money you are investing to have your home inspected can save you thousands of dollars in repair work that you will not know about until it is too late.
Hiring a home inspector to do a home inspection before buying a home is the smartest thing you could ever do for you and your family.