Home inspectors: Their role in the home buying process
Before you close on a home, a home inspector will conduct a review of the property to ensure safety, let you know what needs to be repaired or what will need to be replaced in the near future, and more.
A home inspector is hired by the buyer, and examines the house thoroughly for non-functioning systems, damages and repairs that may be needed. A thorough inspection covers various items, and typically takes a few hours depending on the size of your home.
What do home inspectors look for? Here are the most common things a home inspector will check during the home inspection process:
• Foundation and structure
• General construction overall
• Heating and cooling
• Windows and doors
• Kitchen and bathroom
• Appliances — Be sure to turn on utilities in a vacant home.
• Interior walls and ceiling
• Air conditioning
• Ventilation and drainage
• Gutters and leaders
• Garages and carports
• Patios and decks
• Walks and driveways
• Lawn sprinklers
• Pools and spas
• Termites and wood destroying organisms
During the home inspection process, keep in mind that every house is going to have issues. Once you know about repairs and potential problems, it is then up to you to decide what is a deal breaker.
It’s important to have a home inspector for a few reasons:
• Knowledge — Know what you’re buying.
• Peace of mind — Know you’re making a sound buying decision.
• Fewer surprises — Limits the number of problems you may find after moving in. If an issue is uncovered, there is still time to negotiate with seller to have them pay for repairs.
• Education — Learn the basics of your new home, such as main systems.
RICH: The responsibility of a home inspector is to make sure that the house that the purchaser is buying meets up to what they think that house is. That the house is safe for their family, friends and children and that there’s no hidden costs in owning that house.
RICH: My role usually starts after the deal has been verbally agreed to. We will do an inspection of the house either prior to or just after the contract is executed. And we will take the buyer through the house to make sure that every facet of the house is fixed; is in good shape, is working properly, is safe. And we’ll inspect everything from the foundation right up to the roof.
RICH: There’s a lot of issues that can come up during a house inspection that would cost a lot of money. Some of those would include the replacement of a boiler or a furnace at a cost of at least $5,000. A roof replacement which could up to $10,000 to $15,000 or more, depending on the size of the house, electrical system upgrades, and appliances.
RICH: We will give them a list of not only things that are deficient now, but we also give them a timeframe when things should be replaced.
RICH: there’s been times when I go into a house; everything looks great. But when we really start poking around, there’s powder post beetles, there’s carpenter ants, there’s termites. So those are surprises that usually even surprise the current owner of the house that they may or may not know that they have those type of problems.
RICH: The craziest things I’ve seen during a home inspection is a raccoon in an attic that didn’t want me in the attic with him. A river through the crawl space.
RICH: there’s literally a river running through the crawlspace. So we came out of the crawlspace saying, well there’s a river and our homebuyer’s like, well is that a problem? Well yeah it could be a huge problem when buying a first house.