Buying a new house can be both an exciting experience and a daunting one. Your emotions are involved when you purchase a house, and you want it to be the perfect new home for you and your family. There are always lots of stressful considerations to make, from the offer that you want to put in, to selling your current home.
When it comes to your new home inspection, this can be one of the most stressful parts of the whole process. So many homeowners expect this part of the process to be easy since a hired inspector does the job, but there are many considerations that need to be made surrounding the home inspection that most buyers are not aware of.
If you are looking into buying a new home and are worried about the home inspection process, this checklist will make sure that your new home inspection goes off without a hitch!
Your New Home Inspection Checklist
A home inspection is intended to make sure that your new house does not have flaws or damage that has gone unnoticed by you, the buyer, or by the seller. This is a safeguard to make sure that your home is in tip-top shape when you move in and to make sure that you won’t have issues with your mortgage and insurance.
The home inspection always needs to evaluate these important parts of the house:
1. The Foundation
The foundation is literally holding up your house, so it is of course the first thing that must be assessed when a home inspection is done. Your inspector will make sure that there is no damage to it, that it is not sinking, and that it is up to code. Sometimes older homes could have issues with their foundation not meeting the current building code.
The other thing that you will need to be certain of, is that there is no water under the foundation. Nothing will cause you more grief than groundwater or runoff that could potentially undermine the foundation or flood the house down the road.
2. The Structure
This is a more complex part of the inspection and this will assess the soundness of the actual walls of the home. Dry rot, or black mold, and other serious issues can be located during this process, especially if you are buying an older home.
Other issues that might crop up are floors that are not level or fireplaces that have leaks. These kinds of things might not prevent you from buying the house, but they should affect how much you have to pay for the home. You will also need to verify that the issues that might have been found with the structure will not affect your ability to finalize your mortgage or your insurance.
This is another part of the house that cannot be ignored and a good inspector will notice leaks, plumbing that is not up to code, and other signs that something might not be right within the walls of the house. You would not be happy if you moved in and found out that there were bad water pipes in the walls!
Older homes can sometimes have old pipes that do not meet current building codes and these kinds of issues might lead to a major monetary investment to have this issue corrected.
Another important factor that must be considered is the septic tank. If you are not on city water or connected to other city services, the home’s septic tank will need to be assessed carefully.
This one can be a little dicey and it is important to have your home inspection done by an experienced inspector because of the electrical inspection. Issues with the electrical might not be as simple to diagnose as a light switch that does not work, and an expert needs to examine the wiring in your home to make sure that it is up to code.
Electrical issues can cause fires or shorts, so it is very important to make sure that there is nothing wrong with the wiring in your potential new home. If there is the slightest chance that the owner of the home you are trying to buy has done their own electrical work at some point, that is a big red flag and needs to be looked into.
5. The Interior
This is the stage of the inspection where electrical outlets, flooring, heating and cooling vents, and all the bathroom fixtures will be examined. Signs of water damage are looked for and all the doors and windows are opened and closed to make sure that they work.
While it is more common to find major issues when looking at the structure of the home or the exterior, sometimes water damage or other issues are more evident when inspecting the inside of the home. Issues with the well might be found because the water pressure in the house seems to be too low. Ventilation issues within the home might indicate an issue with the roof and etc.
Last, but not least, the roof needs to be looked at by a licensed roofing contractor. All loose tiles, moss, and other plant debris will need to be dealt with before the sale is closed. Signs of damage to the roof should call for a new roof to be installed by the current owner before you take possession of the house.
Roofing is expensive, so this is an important part of your home inspection to save you money and heartache later. There is nothing worse than finding out during a winter storm that your roof is not 100%.
Inspections Save Money and Time
While the inspection might cause you to feel anxious, think about all of the money and time that is being saved by having your new home looked at with a fine-toothed comb. The home inspection process protects you as the buyer and also protects the bank and your insurance company. Make sure that the key items on this list are looked at during your new home inspection and the process will be quick, efficient, and informative.