The Home Inspection—Knowing What to Expect

If you’re buying or selling a home, it’s essential to have the home inspected by a qualified home inspector. Your home inspector will examine the house from top to bottom, inside and out, and give you a report on the condition of the home to help you make a wise buying decision.

Once at the home, your inspector will conduct a walk-through of the property and the home itself. He’ll note the property’s overall appearance and condition. If it looks like it has been well taken care of, it’s far less likely to have serious problems.

Your inspector will take note of the building’s style and period and try to determine when it was built. Then he’ll examine the quality of the home’s design and construction. How does it compare with other homes in the neighborhood? There’s no substitute for good design and sound, durable construction.

One of the most critical things your inspector will look at is whether there is any dampness or water damage to the home. Water damage is usually a home’s biggest enemy. A dry building is less likely to have problems with fungus or decay, termite damage or corroded and rusted equipment.

The home inspector will check over the home’s site and its outside and inside. He’ll take note of anything he believes is relevant and significant.

In the process of the home inspection, he’ll investigate the condition of the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems. (HVAC is heating, ventilation and air conditioning.) He’ll note the size, capacity, and other relevant information about each system or component as needed.

Most inspections consist of observing, measuring, and testing building parts that are exposed to view. The inspector will not inspect areas that are not accessible. So it is important that the home be free of obstructions so that the inspector can do the best inspection possible.

If there are areas that are not accessible the inspector will note that in the report. You may want to make arrangements to have the inspector return once those areas are made accessible. For example if packed boxes were piled in front of an enclosure where the water heater is located then it would be in your best interest to get the home owner make that area accessible and have the inspector come back to inspector the water heater.

Once your inspector has thoroughly looked things over, he’ll make a report. It will have information to help with any decisions that need to be made concerning remodeling, repairing or replacing anything in the home.

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