Everything You Need to Know about a Home Inspection

As you may have heard me say a time or two (or two hundred) here on the blog: we recently moved into a new home! Yadda yadda yada…

One thing we made sure to tick off our checklist when buying this home (and our previous one, too, actually) was the home inspection. I’ve seen way too many shows on HGTV where there was no inspection done, and the buyers ended up with a hot mess of a project on their hands. Not me! No siree Bob! 

In fact, with our current house, termites were actually found in the garage, leading to a termite inspection, in turn leading to a treatment. We paid for the inspections, of course, but the folks who were selling us the house paid for the treatment. It worked out way better than it would have if we hadn’t gotten that inspection done!

So when Michelle from The Inspectors Company contacted me regarding a home inspection blog post, I was all for it. These are important, folks! Let’s see what she has to say…

The little things are usually what draws us to a particular home. The marble countertops, brand new appliances and a dream bathroom with a gorgeous walk-in shower. But more often than not, you tend to find all sorts of problems only when you scratch the surface.

When buying a home you have to remember that there’s usually more than meets the eye. You wouldn’t want a home that demands constant, often expensive renovations. But how can you know about the weak foundation, bad wiring, plumbing or a leaky roof?

Architect Checking Insulation During House Construction

Easy: Hire a Home Inspector!

As soon as you sign the purchase agreement, you need to get in touch with a reputable home inspector. The same goes for both old and new houses. Neither is devoid of issues. When buying a new home, a home inspection is necessary, and the cost is nothing compared to the peace of mind you get in return.

How to Find a Reputable Home Inspector?

There’s also the question of finding a reputable home inspector, one who will not cut corners and sign the home off even if it’s not in perfect shape. Usually, you can get a good recommendation from a real estate agent, as the two work closely. Additionally, you can search for home inspection companies online. One simple Google search is bound to lead you to reputable companies like The Inspectors Company. All that’s left is looking at their reviews online to determine a company’s credibility and you’re all set.

Key Areas That Demand a Home Inspection

Every experienced home inspector knows where to look for defects first, but it does not hurt to educate yourself as well. However, knowing where to look does not necessarily imply knowing what you’re looking for, so don’t try to DIY your way out of an inspection. It might cost you more in the long run.

With that said, here are some areas a home inspector will look at first:

Heating and Cooling Systems

Both of these systems have a relatively short life span, around 10 to 20 years. That means that there’s a chance they might be worn out and not working properly. Sometimes all it takes to get them up and running are a few minor repairs, but other times it might be necessary to replace them completely.

The Roof

A damaged roof can cause unimaginable damage. A leaky roof could result in water damage that can be expensive to fix. Moreover, it can be dangerous as it can lead to the development of mold, which could lead to dangerous health issues. The materials used to build the roof will also determine how long it lasts, as quoted here: https://theinspectorscompany.com/roofing-inspection/

The Foundation

Issues with the foundation can lead to some of the most dangerous and costly problems in a home. For example, the house may be sinking if there’s water around the foundation. It could lead to cracks in the walls, saggy floors and all sorts of other mishaps.

Plumbing and Electrical

When looking at the plumbing, an inspector will check for leaks or signs of water escaping the pipes like corrosion or mold around the plumbing. Another symptom of bad plumbing could be warped floors and stains on the ceiling or the walls.

Electrical issues could lead to dangerous ramifications, so an inspector needs to check the wiring as well. Some problems like hanging cables may be evident, while others may be very difficult to spot without the right tools and experience.

The Decision is Up to You

While a home inspector can help you by presenting you with cold, hard facts, the decision is ultimately up to you. You must decide if the issues an inspector finds are worth the investment or if you’re better off hanging that “Home Sweet Home” sign elsewhere.

I hope this impresses upon each of you the great importance of a home inspection! If you’re in the market for a new home, please – spring for that inspection!

Due to the amount of comments from all of my wonderful readers, it is not always possible for me to respond to each one. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com. I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!

11 thoughts on “Everything You Need to Know about a Home Inspection

  1. Homes inspections are very important. And I don’t know why people don’t take it more seriously. When I bought my last house I said I was going to the inspection. My realtor and the seller’s showed up too. Turns out they had never had a buyer insist on being present so they thought they should be too.

  2. Home inspections are so critical when purchasing a new home. We made sure we had one and quite a few issues were uncovered that were able to be resolved before we signed on the dotted line.

  3. I can add a few important points:
    – You need to be prepared to walk away if there are too many problems and/or the sellers refuse to fix the problems
    – You should calculate your true home cost including repairs needed in first 1-2 yrs. For example, when we bought one house, the sellers split the cost of a new roof & new electrical box. This lowered our price but we had to add back in the cost of these necessary updates.
    – You should make sure the home inspector you use is a member of InterNACHI (https://hometipsforwomen.com/internachi) or ASHI (https://hometipsforwomen.com/ashi)

  4. Moving houses can be very stressful and I wouldn’t want to have nasty surprises once I move in because I skimped on the home inspection. Loved reading about your experience.

  5. This is a great guide for first-time home buyers like me. I have never seen home inspection but did a lot of move-in inspections in the apartment. I always make a check list before inspection.

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