Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Home Inspection Checklist for a First Time Home Buyer

A home inspection can make or break a home purchase.  This procedure is a thorough evaluation of the home and condition by a professional and is typically required by lenders to obtain a mortgage.  An inspection provides valuable information about the home to the buyer and allows the buyer to cancel the deal if a major problem is discovered.

Personal Inspection

Inspect the home you are interested in yourself before moving forward in the buying process. This will eliminate houses that have significant problems.  A personal inspection will help you identify issues to mention to the professional inspector if you decide to purchase the home.  Look at the roof, condition of the porch, the appearance of the paint or siding, and the gutter systems on the exterior.  Check windows and ceilings for signs of leaking water inside the house.  Listen for noises in plumbing or any electrical issues in the home, such as exposed wiring and lighting problems.  If the heating or cooling system is active when you are there, take note of the effects on the temperature in the house.   Check basements for signs of water damage and flooding.

 Inspector Qualifications

Hire an experienced and professional inspector.   Ask the inspector how long he/she has been performing inspections, if you will receive a detailed written report and what type of certifications he/she has.   Find out what locations will be covered in the home inspection and how long the process will take.   Standard times for single-family home inspections are at least two to three hours, depending on the size of the home

 Professional Inspection

Follow the inspector during the inspection and ask any questions you have.  Take notes during the walk-through, as the inspector will also point out any possible future problems to you.   All of the areas you looked at in your personal inspection should be reviewed by the professional inspector.   He/she will also check the heating and cooling systems for leaks and signs of damage, test outlets and electrical systems, and evaluate the firmness and level of the floors in the home.   Any additional features, such as an attic, will be included in the inspection.

Additional Testing
Professional home inspections do not necessarily include additional tests, such as checking for lead paint, radon gas, pest infestations and house mold.   The inspector will recommend these types of specialized tests if he believes one of these issues exists in the home or is a known problem in the neighborhood.