On the surface, homes can look to be in excellent condition. However, there are times major issues can be lurking just below the surface, waiting for the right moment (or perhaps the wrong moment) to become noticeable – often resulting in costly repairs. This is why home inspections are highly recommended prior to purchasing a home, and when homes are over 15 years old. Fifteen years is the average time for many large components (like HVAC systems, roofs, and water heaters) to need a professional review to determine if updating or replacement is needed immediately or may be needed in the near future.
It is important to remember that homes do not “pass” or “fail” a home inspection; the inspection merely points out areas of a home that may be a cosmetic, functional, or repair concern. Home inspections help you to secure your investment and plan ahead for potential repairs, or to use potential areas in need of improvement as leverage in your homebuying negotiations.
A home inspection is a thorough review, and an evaluation of the physical structure as well as the critical systems within a home. During a home inspection, well over 400 items are individually inspected, but are commonly grouped into the general areas of the home for easy transfer of information from the home inspector to the homeowner or homebuyer.
Areas of the home you can expect to have inspected include the:
Walls, floors, and ceilings (visual check for obvious issues)
Windows, doors, and other points of entry
HVAC (Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning) System
Electrical wiring and connections
Plumbing system (including water pressure)
Gas connections (if present)
Basement, crawlspace, and attic
Garage and other structures (i.e. shed)
Bedrooms and bathrooms
Kitchens, living rooms, dens, and other open or common areas
Patios, porches, and/or decks
Site grounds and grading
Gutters and downspouts
Pool and pool equipment
Pool decks and enclosures
All areas are inspected for their overall appearance, functionality, age, wear and tear, and risk for repair or replacement. Certain aspects of the home are compared to current building code requirements to ensure the home is up to code, especially for noticeable repairs, upgrades, or building additions – which can provide a great relief for potential homebuyers looking at homes with recent upgrades.