What The Home Inspection Can Find

How to Pass a Home Inspection When Selling Your Home

When selling your home, there are many processes and procedures. However, one of the most important is the home inspection. The majority of home buyers will hire an inspector before closing on a new house. The inspection results are essential for the negotiating process and for ensuring high value on the home.

The inspection process can be a little worrisome to the seller. The inspector will spend a few days walking around the interior and exterior of the home, looking through documents of repairs, and running tests to make sure your home is in tip-top shape.

The inspection can often bring up unpleasantries that you didn’t know existed, the worst of which could be lead paint or asbestos, which you’re required to remove. It could take months to resolve these issues, slowing down the sale significantly.

The Inspector’s Agenda

According to experts in the industry, most home inspectors use a list of 33 criteria to determine the health and condition of a home. They can be small things, like standing water surrounding the house or proper grading drainage away from the structure. Or, they could be major structural problems like cracks in the foundation or rotten siding.

here are some of the most common things that fail on a home inspector’s list.

Water Damage: Water damage causes mold and mildew, which can be dangerous. They’ll also wear away at the structure of the home, and repairing the damage isn’t cheap.

Defective Plumbing: This may come in the form of leaky or clogged pipes. Both are bad news for your home. The repairs cost thousands, and the buyer won’t be thrilled about a home with potential water damage.

Improper Wiring or Electrical: Many homes, especially older ones, will have wiring and electrical problems that are not up to code. This could be the result of DIY efforts, or the wiring could have been installed before certain fire codes were mandated. Either way, it’s a fire hazard that will need fixed.

Roof and Siding Problems: Water can easily leak into your home through old or damaged rooftops and siding. It’s also a weak spot for pests, causing even more problems. If one or both of these entities needs repaired, the sum could be over $10,000.

Damp Attic Spaces: If there’s a leak or improper ventilation in the attic, it could lead to mold, mildew, and rotting insulation that wears away at the structure of the house.

Inefficient HVAC Systems: This criterion has become more important, as of late, since home buyers prioritize affordable heating and cooling costs. Aside from the efficiency aspect, broken heating and cooling elements can be a safety hazard for homebuyers.

Drug Testing: Some states require that your home be tested for drugs before being sold. The biggest concern is that your house may have once been a meth lab, which can leave behind harmful chemicals and deadly toxins for the residents. This is a fairly new test, so it may not have been done if you bought your house more than 10 years ago, but it will often be required for newer home purchases.

Home Inspections: Not Just for Home Buyers

You’ve probably heard that ordering a home inspection is a critical part of the home buying process, but did you know that inspections can be very useful for existing homeowners too?  A licensed home inspector can provide both buyers and homeowners with an unbiased report of a property’s condition to inform them about health and safety issues and other defects that affect the value of a property. We have identified three stages of homeownership where it is beneficial to order a home inspection.

Before you Buy a Home

This home inspection is a must. It is typically conducted right after the seller has accepted your offer and will help you determine if you want to move forward with purchasing the home.  help you write your offer, and it should include an option to cancel the contract if the inspector discovers something that concerns you.  You may also be able to use the inspection to negotiate the price of the home or any significant repairs with the seller.

Before Your Warranty Expires

If your new or previously-owned home came with a warranty (or if you purchased a warranty after you closed on the home), consider getting a home inspection right before the warranty expires. The inspection will document any builders’ defects or other issues while they are still covered under warranty. Make sure to let the inspector know you are requesting an “end of warranty” inspection because that may affect the price as well as what is inspected.

Before You Sell Your Home

Many real estate professionals now recommend that sellers obtain a home inspection before listing their home for sale.  This gives the seller the opportunity to address any major repairs that could potentially delay or derail the sale of the home. Performing the repairs ahead of time may also be cheaper than trying to negotiate the cost of the repairs into the price of the home or paying the buyer’s contractor to perform the repairs

Crucial Areas a Home Inspector Checklist Doesn’t Cover

Hiring a home inspector is a crucial part of buying or selling a home. An inspector will assess the home for potential problems and identify any issues that may affect the continuation or negotiation of a sale in progress. But it’s also important to understand that inspectors don’t cover all of the bases in a home. In fact, it’s possible that an inspector may miss a significant issue. In many cases, you’ll need to hire a specialist to inspect certain areas, and you should always look closely at everything yourself.

Inspectors don’t check for pests.

Home inspectors are not exterminators — their job is to find potential problems with the structural integrity of the house. So if you think you see a cockroach or another pest during a walkthrough, you’ll need to hire an exterminator to take a closer look. Don’t rely on the checklist or final report to yield that information

Inspectors don’t cover plumbing.

Most home inspectors don’t have the qualifications to look at plumbing and can only call out visible issues like a leak or outdated plumbing. This means they probably won’t look at your:

Wall or undersink plumbing pipes

Swimming pools

Septic tanks

There are exceptions in which an inspector will have the qualifications to look at pools and septic systems, but this varies depending on the inspector and where you live. You shouldn’t rely on your inspector for this in any case. If you see serious cracks or dents in the swimming pool, you should probably hire a swimming pool pro to do an inspection. If you think the septic tank is making weird noises, have someone take a closer look.

Inspectors won’t look at landscaping conditions.

While issues with landscaping should be obvious during a walkthrough — dead spots, potential pests, sprinkler issues, etc. — note that they aren’t on home inspector’s radar. If there’s a dead tree in the yard, you’ll be responsible for taking care of it. It probably won’t affect the final price of the house or your ability to negotiate with the seller.

Appliances aren’t part of the inspection.

Home inspectors check only that the following appliances are working properly:

Washers

Dryers

Dishwashers

Refrigerators

Stoves

Most inspectors will run these appliances through just a cycle or two to make sure they work. So, the built-in microwave could have major problems and you wouldn’t know it. Plus, unless a major leak or smoke appears, the appliance is considered to be correctly functioning. If you think there’s a major problem, you should have an appliance technician perform diagnostics and necessary repairs.

Best Home Inspection Tools (From A Licensed Inspector)

Do you want to know what are the best and most important home inspection tools? Whether you are a new home inspector that wants to know my tools or a homeowner that wants to inspect their own home

What Are My Home Inspection Tools?

My home inspecting tool kit is the most useful gear that I use to inspect homes on a professional basis. These tools greatly simplify my inspections as well as speed up the whole process — helping me avoid costly mistakes. I recommend these essential tools to new inspectors as well as to homeowners who want to inspect their own home for maintenance.

This home inspection equipment spans from the common and all the way to the obscure. You will have used some of these tools throughout your life, but other tools you may never of heard before. I have used these tools from small residential condos, and up to multi-million dollar commercial properties.

If you are interested in becoming a home inspector (or just want to do your own inspection) — this home inspector tool kit is what in my opinion are the essentials. You can do home inspections without them, but at a much lower quality for your client. After doing hundreds of home inspections, these are the tools that made the cut and I can’t work without.

High-Powered Rechargeable Flashlight

This is probably my most important tool on home inspections. With a nice flashlight, you can see many water stains and defects that you otherwise wouldn’t see. In fact, with my flashlight, the two most common things I uncover are water/moisture stains and drywall patches.

BEFORE HIRING YOUR NEXT HOME INSPECTOR

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, you need to make sure it’s a safe and stable place to live. Habitation Investigation LLC will conduct a complete home inspection of your home to provide valuable information about its current condition

CHECK YOUR HOME FROM TOP TO BOTTOM

goes the extra mile by examining many aspects not covered in traditional inspections. You deserve peace of mind about your home, whether you’re about to buy or getting ready to put it on the market

PAIR YOUR TRADITIONAL HOME INSPECTION WITH A SPECIALTY SERVICE

We’ll check everything from your foundation to your fireplace to your gutter system. Every aspect of your home should be up to par-whether you’re moving in or moving out.

Whole house inspection will conduct a thorough inspection of your home, inside and out. As NACHI-certified professional home inspectors, have the knowledge and expertise to provide you with a thorough and professional, non-intrusive, visual inspection of your home, from roof to foundation

Understanding Your Home Inspection Report

How to Choose a Home Inspector

Shopping for a home? Don’t wait until you have an accepted offer to shop for a home inspector. You want to allow time to interview several candidates so that you can be sure to hire an experienced professional.

After all, a home inspection is your one opportunity to get a clear-eyed assessment about the true condition of something that, for many, is the most expensive purchase of a lifetime. Follow our advice for how to find good candidates and what to look for in an inspector.

Beware the Real Estate Agent’s Referral

Your real estate agent might offer to give you some home inspectors’ names. He may be perfectly well-meaning—or not—but the references present a conflict of interest.

A real estate agent wants to close the deal, and that incentive may be at odds with that of the inspector, who gets paid for his report. If the report raises too many issues, or serious ones, it can be used to negotiate a lower price or even scuttle the deal. An inspector who has been referred by your agent may feel obligated to go easy on the inspection.

Identify Qualified and Trusted Candidates

To find a reputable inspector, first ask friends who have recently purchased a home whether they recommend the person they used. You can also find referrals through local online communities such as NextDoor or Patch, where members sometimes post their experiences. A crowdsourced directory such as Yelp, and home services sites such as Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor, may also be helpful.

How to Select a Home Inspector

Choosing a home inspector is part of the home buying process, a decision that can have a significant impact on your satisfaction with your future home. The home inspector is responsible for telling you the things you need to know about the home you are interested in. His or her ability to spot potential issues is vital for you to make an informed purchase, one you will be happy with over the long-term. Knowing how to select a home inspector becomes paramount, especially for first-time buyers

You only need to do a quick search for home inspectors in your area to find numerous options, but as with so many professions, some inspectors are better than others. The following tips will help you find a home inspector that you can be happy with, someone you can trust to provide you with all the relevant facts about the home you want to buy.

Get a reference from your real estate agent.

One of the best resources for picking a home inspector should be your Realtor. Do you know your real estate agent well and trust them? Do you feel they have your best interests at heart and are not more concerned about their pocket book? If you can confidently answer these two questions in the affirmative, then there is no reason not to trust your Realtors advice on who to select as a home inspector.

Look for a company that is bonded and insured

Whether you go with a big company or a single inspector working on his or her own, you want to make sure that whoever examines the home is bonded and insured. Finding out about insurance is one of the most important questions to ask when interviewing a home inspection

Verify that the inspection company only does inspections – not home repairs and renovations.

Hiring someone that just does inspections is an important tip for finding the right home inspector! Home inspection companies that sell other services – such as roofing, plumbing, kitchen and bathroom renovations, etc. – have a conflict of interest. The fact that they sell repair and renovation services means they are more likely to see problems where there aren’t any.

Tips to Find the Best Home Inspector

Before you buy a home, it’s always a good idea to get a professional home inspection. In most cases, you can make your purchase contract contingent on a satisfactory inspection. That means if you don’t like the inspection results, you can cancel the contract, get your deposit back and walk away from the deal. Or you can negotiate with the seller to cut the price or make repairs to problem areas uncovered during the inspection.

Even if the results of the inspection mean you agree to accept the house as-is at the contract price, a good home inspection can give you valuable insights into the property you’re buying and help you plan for future maintenance and repairs.

Choose an inspector who wants you around during the entire inspection. “We recommend bringing the clients there during the inspection every single time from start to finish,” Saltzman says, rather than just showing up for the report at the end. “I don’t think the clients get as much out of the inspection if they do it that way.”

Ask for a sample report. “Any great home inspector should have their home inspection reports displayed on a website,” Saltzman says. See if the reports are clearly written and how they are formatted. Saltzman says a good report should identify the defect, explain why it matters and suggest what should be done to fix it. All good reports also include photos.

Read reviews on Angie’s List, Yelp and Google. You can ask inspectors for references and call past clients. But you should also read online reviews that the inspector doesn’t control to ensure accuracy.

How to Choose a Home Inspection Company

When a house is bought or sold, a home inspection is a necessary procedure that alerts both homeowners and buyers to the condition of the property in question. If you are selling a home, it is important to have an inspection conducted so that you will be aware of any potential issues with the home you are selling. If you are buying a home, you should have a separate inspection conducted to be sure there are no hidden issues, and to negotiate the contract with potential repairs or problems in mind.

Be prepared for the cost. The average fee for a home inspection is between $350-$500, but the information received from an inspector is priceless. It could be the turning point between a sale and a buyer going back to searching for the perfect home

Understand the actual inspection. Home inspectors enter a home and analyze all of the major components that make up a house purchase. Home inspection companies document the safety and overall condition of a home at the time of the inspection. Home inspections usually take about 3 hours for a minimal inspection, and 5 or 6 hours in order to arrive at a thorough, proper assessment. Depending on how old or large a house is, it may take longer or less time to complete.

Know what will be inspected. A home inspector must thoroughly conduct a review of the inner and outer areas of a house

Be prepared for bad news. It is a home inspector’s job to find any existing or potential problems with a house. They can lose their license if they fail to report issues, so although it might feel like they’re purposely giving bad news, be thankful for the information.

Finding the Right Home Inspector

If you are buying a home, an inspection could reveal problems you never would’ve noticed. An inspection can require the seller to fix what needs fixing before you buy the home. You could also find issues that make you decide not to buy. If you’re a seller, an inspection can help you find problems before you put the house on the market, letting you make the repairs without wrangling over the cost with a potential buyer. Learn why you should get an inspection before selling your home.

What to expect on inspection day

On the day of the inspection, the inspector performs an initial site evaluation. Then the inspector takes you on a tour to point out the assets as well as any potential problems. Pay attention, watch, ask questions and learn. A thorough inspection can find problems related to water entry, roof leaks, insect infestation, unsafe wiring, failed septic systems, poor plumbing, wet basements, mold and mildew, and safety hazards.

At the end of the inspection, you receive a written report detailing all the findings. The report should contain photographs and descriptions of any damage or defects found during the inspection as well as details on the location of damage. Pictures help you understand the scope and location of the damage, and visual proof makes it easier to get repair estimates.

Look for an inspector before you shop for a home. If you choose a home first, time is critical and you may feel pressured to pick the first inspector you meet

Do your research and ask lots of questions of prospective inspectors, including their backgrounds, the length of time they’ve been in the business, the number of inspections they’ve performed and what sort of report they’ll provide