The Importance of Home Inspections: What to Look for and Why

Share Article

The Importance of Home Inspections: What to Look for and Why

A home inspection is important when buying a home to avoid any potential surprise costs. A qualified professional will thoroughly examine the physical condition of a home to look for visible defects, wear and tear, code violations, and potential problems.

After the inspection, the inspector will provide a detailed written report summarizing the condition of the home. This report will help you understand the true condition of the property and highlight any repairs needed.

Typical issues found during inspections include cracked foundations, faulty wiring, water damage, and pest infestations.

We’ll explore what exactly home inspectors look for, and how to find a quality inspector.


What Does the Home Inspector Check?

Home inspectors examine all aspects of the property during the inspection. Here are some of the major features and systems they will evaluate.

  • Roof and Attic: Inspects roof age, condition, and remaining life; checks for leaks, ventilation issues, and water damage.
  • Exterior: Checks siding, paint, trim, windows, and doors for damage and wear. Examines flashings, eaves, and drain spouts for issues.
  • Foundation: Inspects visible foundation walls and structure for cracks or water damage.
  • Structural: Evaluates floors, walls, and ceilings for sagging, cracks, or unusual settling that can indicate structural issues.
  • Electrical: Checks condition of main panel and wiring; tests outlets, switches, and fixtures for functionality.
  • Plumbing: Checks water pressure, piping, fixtures for leaks and damage.
  • HVAC: Tests heating and cooling equipment; examines ductwork; ensures proper air flow.
  • Ventilation: Confirms adequate ventilation in bathrooms, kitchen, and attic to prevent moisture and condensation issues.
  • Appliances: Turns on major appliances to ensure proper operation.
  • Pest/Rot Damage: Checks for evidence of wood boring insects, termites, carpenter ants, and rodents. Inspects for fungus or mold.
  • Safety: Checks for presence of smoke detectors, CO detectors, proper railings, electrical hazards, potential trip points.


How to Pick the Right Home Inspector

Not all home inspectors are equal when it comes to knowledge and experience. Here are tips for choosing the best one:

– Ask local real estate agents for inspector recommendations, but also do your own research.

– Look for an inspector who has been in business for several years and has extensive experience in your area. They’ll be familiar with local homes.

– Look online for customer reviews and feedback about the inspector. Look for responsiveness and clear reports.

– Make sure the inspector provides a detailed written report. Never accept just a verbal overview.


Following up on Inspection Findings

Your next steps after the inspection depend on the findings:

Minor issues: Small repairs or flaws can be addressed by the seller before closing.

Deal breakers: Costly foundation repairs or extensive water damage may mean walking away from the property completely.

Second opinion: If an issue is unclear or you get conflicting estimates about the repair cost, consider getting a second inspection.

Regardless of the findings, it’s up to you to determine if the home still meets your needs and if the price accounts for necessary updates. Use the inspection to make an informed decision, not an emotional one.

If the home inspection uncovers issues, the realtor acts as a facilitator between the buyer and seller to negotiate potential solutions. This includes coordinating any follow-up inspections, repairs, or final walkthroughs. Reach out to one of our market-leading Realtors® today.