It can be stressful having a home inspection done; there is alot to it. Be organized… Make notes BEFORE YOU GO regarding things you have noticed or questions you may have that you would like your inspector to pay special attention to. A good inspector will ensure that any and all concerns you have are addressed and explained to you. Here is a list of a few aspects that are addressed during your home inspection.
Foundation: Look at the base of the walls and the ceilings in each room. Are there obvious cracks or apparent shifts in the foundation? Talk to your inspector about what cracks would cause a concern.
Lot: Does the drainage appear to be away from the house? Are there any obvious soggy areas or areas with standing water? Is this something that could be remedied by grading around the home or even downspout extenders?
Roof: What is the overall condition? Is it the original roof? If not, when was it replaced? You may not have the actual answer to the year the roof was last replaced BUT a good home inspector can usually guesstimate how many years the roof has left on it and what maintenance the roof needs in order to get it to that point.
Exterior: Does the exterior of the house look like it will need repairs or repainting soon? Are gutters and downspouts firmly attached? Are there loose boards or dangling wires? Is there asbestos in the exterior material, which may require added costs if it needs to be repaired or replaced?
Attic: How does the interior of the roof structure look? Are there any signs of leaks? Does it have an attic fan? Does it need one?
Interior evidence of leaks: Check ceilings and around windows in each room.
Basement: Is there dampness? Adequate insulation? Is there a sump pump?
Electrical: Do the switches work? Are there any obvious malfunctions? Have the outlets been grounded? Is the panel updated and expandable for additional appliances or a potential remodel?
Plumbing: Any unusual noises or malfunctions? Has the sewer line been scoped to check for potential cracks?
Appliances: If these are included, what is the age and condition of each?
Heating/cooling system: Does it seem to do the job? How old is the furnace? If the system has been converted, are the old systems or tanks still in place?
Odor: Does the home smell? Can you detect what it might be and whether it could be fixed? Beware of musty odors which could signal some moisture intrusion.
These aren’t all going to be signs to “run away”, but once you have the inspection done this is all GOOD INFORMATION. Information that you need to make an education on whether to move forward or not with the purchase AND how to budget moving forward. The truth is, NO home is perfect. You will always have ongoing maintenance and you will always have something to “fix” or at least improve. It doesn’t mean you have a bad home.