Whether buying or selling a home, a home inspection is a valuable tool. The home inspection prepares a seller for any potential problems that need to be addressed before listing your home for sale. The home inspection report can then reassure the buyer that the home is worthy of investment.
A professional inspection helps sellers identify required repairs before a prospective purchase. It aids buyers to negotiate the selling price based on the necessity of future repairs or problems. And finally, it guides sellers and buyers to negotiate and settle on a contractual selling price to avoid potential areas of dispute.
Home Inspection Explained
According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, a home inspection is an objective in-person examination of the physical structure and systems of a house from the foundation to the roof by a licensed professional. The inspection is a non-invasive procedure following published industry guidelines and methods.
An inspection can take anywhere from two to four hours for a typical family home depending on its size and condition. Inspections are longer and more involved for other types of dwellings or buildings.
Once an inspection is completed, a signed report that includes repair recommendations is sent to the seller and made available to the buyer usually within five working days.
The cost and responsibility of the home inspection.
The process of selling or buying a home can be daunting. The buyer is focused on getting the best home for her sizable investment without future surprise expenses. Alternatively, the seller may be pressured by unexpected expenses, procedural complications and demands on her time. The buyer bears the cost of the inspection as a safeguard for her investment. The seller will then be responsible for necessary repair costs or reducing the asking price. The buyer and seller can negotiate terms in view of the inspection report findings.
The buyer hires a recommended home inspector to get an unbiased evaluation. Inspection fees vary but are generally calculated based on property location, square footage of living space and lot size. The average base cost of an inspection across the nation is $339. However, the final cost depends upon the extent of repairs needed or if additional tests to insure future health and safety are recommended by the inspector. Your real estate agent at Sonali and Company can refer you to reliable and reputable inspection companies or inspectors.
The areas of focus for inspection.
Sonali and Company agents recommend that a buyer employ a professional inspector with wide ranging industry knowledge who understands how to critically analyze a building’s strengths and weaknesses. Common areas to be aware of are:
The roof is one of the most expensive features of a house therefore you need to ensure that the roof of the home you are buying is at its best condition. Inquire how old the roof is from the homeowner and get a professional inspector to inspect the roof.
The most common problem is curled up shingles. And it could mean many reasons like age and wear from the weather, lack of insulation or improper installation or it could even be poor attic ventilation. Most often curling shingles in a newer home means there’s a ventilation issue. Regardless of the age of the home, curling shingles are a sign that it’s time to consider a replacement.
A poor ventilation system can cause a number of problems. Higher levels of humidity on the outside of the house can make the inside air more humid and build up high levels of moisture and allow mold growth or even wood rot. With poor ventilation, concentration of radon can increase in homes which is the second highest cause of lung cancer.
A proper ventilation system allows the indoor air to be fresh and healthy. It would be a good idea to test the home for radon.Get a professional to do the ventilation testing on the home before buying it. Get those doors and windows inspected, look for any cracks.
Problems in the foundation of a house can be easily found when a home is built incorrectly, or in certain conditions. Certain types of soil, drainage problems or poor construction are some of the main reasons for a problematic foundation. Owners are often unaware of these problems. Therefore, having a professional home inspector take a close look at the structural integrity of the home you are to buy is very important. The inspector will look for water leaks, cracks, moisture issues and other problems which could reveal any issues in the foundation such as shifting or sinking.
Upon the above inspection it is best advised to hire a structural engineer to further inspect the problem to know if it is of any serious danger or if it is in need of any immediate repair.
Plumbing is a very important part of the home and it is one of those things that should never be overlooked. The most common plumbing problems are clogged drains and toilets, leaky faucets and pipes, water heater issues, low water pressure, and a running toilet. Consider proper inspection of the plumbing before buying that new house, a small leak may not cause a significant concern, but the outcome of it overtime can be a bigger problem.
Plumbing does not only involve the transportation of clean water in and out of the house, It involves the whole operation of liquid and waste removal that includes the drainage system as well. An experienced and a professional plumber will have the right understanding and knowledge to check all the areas of plumbing in a house.
Fire due to poor electrical wiring or low maintenance can cause substantial damage and property loss. Detecting any underlying electrical issues will prevent the risk of such fires and help to ensure the safety of you and your family, and your property.
Faulty electrical wiring could happen for many reasons. Outdated or defective wiring can get corroded over time, loosened wirings in outlets and switches can lead into overload or even blow a fuse. Few quick signs you can look for during an inspection would be, dimming or flickering lights, discolored switch plates, cords, or plugs, outlets that are loose, cracked or broken insulation, and especially if the property is over 30-40 years old, it is important to find out or inquire on the earthing of all electrical outlets new and old.
These reasons are enough for you to get the home inspected by a professional certified electrical contactor to identify any potential wiring issues and they will recommend installation of new wiring if required.
It is important to remember that a home inspection is not a home valuation. Sonali and Company’s next topic covers the procedures for home valuations or appraisals.