Since a new home is the most expensive purchase you will make, it is essential that you have it professionally inspected before closing to ensure that is structurally sound and in working order. An inspection is your best chance to identify any flaws or defects that may help you renegotiate your purchase price. Home inspectors are professionals who are well-versed in various home systems and all aspects of construction, however, even the most diligent inspector may fail to spot some serious issues affecting a home.
The majority of home inspectors do not physically access the roof during the inspection. They will check for obvious flaws by looking from upper floor windows and from the ground by using binoculars. They will also check the interior of the home for signs of water damage. This visual inspection will identify nail pops and missing or torn shingles, but it may not uncover hidden leaks.
Furnaces and air conditioners contain many complex electronic components that are prone to wear and tear. The inspector will assess the overall condition of any HVAC equipment by running it through a heating and air conditioning cycle. They may also give you an idea as to how long you may have before you need to consider a replacement unit. These checks are somewhat limited and do not guarantee that the unit will not fail as soon as you take possession.
A detailed home inspection will include a check of all major appliances to ensure that they are in working order.
Washers, dryers, and dishwashers are typically run through a couple of cycles to make sure that there are no leaks or other obvious problems. This is not a complete diagnostic check to identify any internal issues. It is not unusual for appliances that are about to fail to work just long enough to pass the inspection.
Soil settlement, poor gutter installation and maintenance, and builder error can allow water to penetrate around the foundation of a home, which can damage the home's exterior as well as the contents inside. It also creates a prime environment for dangerous mold to develop and can attract unwanted insects. Shrubs, bushes, and even leaves or snow can make it difficult for the inspector to spot these issues.
Hidden Flooring Issues
Carpeting can camouflage a myriad of problems. An inspector will only check for evidence of stains or wear and tear on the surface of the carpet. They are not able to check underneath for signs of mold, water damage, or other issues.
What You Can Do?
- As a buyer, it is in your best interest to be on hand for the inspection. If possible, accompany the inspector, take notes, and ask questions
- Ask your realtor to include a provision in your purchase offer that requires the seller to make all areas of the home, including the basement, attic, and crawl spaces,available for inspection. If there are areas that are inaccessible due to boxes, furniture, or other obstacles, do not be afraid to ask the seller to remove the obstruction and make the home available for another inspection.It is also a good idea to include a provision in your offer that will allow you to check under carpets or behind walls if the inspector suspects that there is a problem. Of course, you will be responsible for returning everything to its original condition.
- If the inspection uncovers anything questionable, do not hesitate to contact a roofing company, HVAC technician, or other specialists to perform a more detailed assessment.
There is more to the home buying than just the financial aspect we want you to be prepared for. For more advice on how to navigate the home buying process, contact one of our professional mortgage consultants today: