Home Inspection 101: What All Homebuyers Should Know

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 05 March 2019 11:18

Purchasing a home comes with equal amounts of excitement and fear. Once a potential homebuyer has fallen in love with a home or at least likes it enough to commit to purchasing it, the inspection can prove crucial to the process. Many potential homebuyers find themselves wondering what deal breakers are, and what are things that are worth the risk or future investment.


Regardless of the result, there are some key factors that all potential homebuyers should keep in mind during and after an inspection.


The foundation of the home is fundamental. It supports the entire structure, and issues with a foundation have a chance of being extremely expensive to fix. However, if the price is right or the potential homebuyer considers fixing a foundation worth the investment, it could turn out to be an okay decision. Purchasing a home with foundation issues could be regarded as a gamble because often it is difficult to predict the exact nature and cost of repairs.


Things to look for in a foundation are cracks in the outside walls, trees near the foundation of the home, and water or moisture in the basement or crawl space.


The roof is often considered the second most important aspect of a home. Water damage can cause serious issues in a home, so having a roof that doesn’t leak is desirable. Most realtors will know how old the roof of a house is. Consider that most roofs are good for around 20 years before needing to be replaced.


Things to look for in a roof and attic are missing shingles, the existence of flashing and trim, and signs of leaking or moisture build-up in the attic, walls, or ceilings.


The slope and drainage of a yard are super important. A yard that drains water toward the house could cause future or current water issues inside the basement or crawl space of the home.


Things to look for in a yard are proper drainage or sloping away from the house, visible soggy areas in the yard, and condition of sidewalks and driveways.

Interior Structure

The interior structure includes walls, beams, and flooring. A solid interior structure is essential for the integrity of the home, and issues could be spendy to fix.


Things to look for in the interior structure: cracking in the walls or ceilings, mold, and signs of fire or flooding.


Electric problems are common in older homes. If the home is older, ask if the electrical has been updated. If any electrical changes have been made to the house, ask if a qualified electrician did it.


Things to look for in the electrical system: check that all switches work properly, check that outlets are properly grounded, look for an updated electric panel and make sure it has not been recalled.


Plumbing is difficult to asses, as much of it is hidden behind walls. However, there are signs of issues that can be detected.


Things to look for with the plumbing system are unusual noises, adequate water flow and pressure in all fixtures, and check for signs of leaking or past leaks.


Appliances can be expensive to repair, so it is ideal to consider the costs of repair or replacement in the purchase price of a home. According to John Stahfest, founder of the appliance repair service Top Shelf Appliance, “It’s always worthwhile to consider having a professional check out the more expensive units of the house in addition to a typical inspection. That way, you can detect any problems right away and decide if it's worthwhile to pay to fix them, or not.”


Things to consider in appliances are: do the appliances seem to have been well-maintained, ages of each of the appliances, functionality, and the efficiency of each.

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James Stevenson

Hi, My name is James and I've been involved in the property and real estate industry for 10 years now. I hope people will like to read about my thoughts and experiences in the industry and please contact me if you want to discuss my articles further!

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