What is one of the most important things to do when buying a home? Visualize were your furniture will go in each room. Well… yes that is part of the processes but more importantly hire a professional to do a home inspection.
So even if you manage to find the perfect home a good home inspection can help you understand exactly what’s not so perfect about the home you’re going to buy. That’s a good thing. Because when you’re buying a home you’re also buying all of the home’s problems too.
You’re making a large investment in the property and it’s nice to understand exactly what you’re buying. A structural problem or a heating and air condition system that isn’t functioning properly can be expensive to fix. So conducting a series of thorough inspections is a lot like buying an insurance policy against future expenses or knowing more about what you are buying into. Keep in mind, however, that home inspections are not a warranty or guarantee of the home.
What is a typical home inspection like? A home inspection typically includes an examination of the heating and central air conditioning systems, interior plumbing, electrical systems, the roof, attic, visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, foundations, and basements.
A typical home inspection will take about 2 to 4 hours depending on the type of home; an unoccupied one story home on a concrete slab will take about 2 hours, where an occupied two story home on a crawlspace foundation will take about 4 hours to complete.
Although the home inspection report should include detailed descriptions and color digital pictures of any defects in the home, it is best if you are able to attend the inspection for a review and discussion of the findings. You, your agent, the owner/sellers, etc. should attend the entire inspection. Once the inspection is complete, you should walk through the home with the inspector to discuss any concerns or defects that may be present.
Some things that are not included in the general inspection are:
- Appliances that are not installed
- Building Code Compliance
- Environmental issues such as Radon, Mold, Lead, etc. (unless specifically requested) I would recommend including a least a radon test for the Fort Mill/York County area.
- Systems/components/areas that are not readily accessible or readily visible or shut down.
- Cosmetic issues (Acceptability is subjective and should be determined by the client)
- Exterior features such as retaining walls, storage buildings, pools, etc. (Unless their condition may affect the building)
- Low voltage systems/components such as: intercom, security systems, antennas, etc.
You will most likely have to hire a separate professional to do a termite inspection.
If you are selling your home, have an inspection done before you put your home on the market and you may avoid any surprises when potential buyers have a home inspector check it out. You may choose to have any repairs made using a contractor of your choice without having to satisfy a potential buyer or you may choose to disclose the conditions you are not going to repair and protect yourself from liability of nondisclosure claims.
Should you hire a home inspector when buying a new home? Absolutely. Just because the home is new doesn’t mean there aren’t problems. The contractors building a new home are human and make mistakes. There is no better time to catch and fix mistakes or problems than before you close and move in.
Make sure the home inspector is at least a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors and other local associations and accreditations. Carmen can recommend local home inspectors. Contact Carmen for more information or questions about the home inspection process.