Before you close the deal on a home be sure to hire a home inspector to check out some major flaws that might need to be fixed. But what does a home inspector really look for?
Some of the common things inspectors look for are:
Grounds. They look for current or future water issues such as standing puddles and faulty grading or downspouts. They check to see if the landscaping is in good condition and evaluate pathways, retaining walls, sheds, etc.
Structure. They want to be sure that the foundation is solid, the sides are straight and that the window and door frames are square. This is most important when purchasing an older home.
Roof. The inspector will be looking for defects in shingles, flashing and fascia, which can cause ceiling drips. They will also be looking for loose gutters and defects in chimneys and skylights.
Exterior. On the outside of the home, the inspector will look for siding cracks, rot, decay, cracking or flaking masonry, dents or bowing in vinyl, blistering or flaking paint and adequate clearing between siding and earth, which should be a minimum of 6 inches to avoid damage from moisture.
Window, doors, trim. This is key to keep energy bills low, windows and doors must be in good condition. They will make sure frames are secure, without rot; caulking is solid; and glass is undamaged.
Interior rooms. With the inside of the home, inspectors will be looking for leaning walls that indicate faulty framing; stained ceilings for water problems; adequate insulation behind the walls; and sufficient heating vents.
Kitchen. In the kitchen, they make sure that range hood fans vent to the outside; ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection exists for electrical outlets within 6 feet of the sink, no leaks under the sink, and cabinet doors and drawers open and close properly.
Bathrooms. They look to see that toilets flush properly, the drains and showers are working properly and tubs are securely fastened.
Plumbing. They will evaluate the pipes, drains, water heaters, water pressure and water temperature.
Electrical. Finally, the inspector will check if the visible wiring and electrical panels are in good shape, that light switches are working and that there are enough outlets in each room.
Be sure to bring any concerns about the property to your inspector before they start their inspection so they can be sure to pay special attention to those issues.