One of the most important things that you must do before buying a home is to have a professional home inspector check it out. Purchasing a home is expensive enough. Why would anyone still splash an extra $400 especially if they are not required to do so? We tell you in this post what home inspection is as well as its significance and why it is in your best interest to have it done.

Home / Building Inspection Contingency

The first pointer towards the importance of home inspection is that it acts as a contingency in the purchase offer. The contingency allows you to back out of the purchase offer without being penalized should significant defects be uncovered by home inspection. Problems that may allow you to back out of a purchase deal must be classed as a Major Structural Defect.

What a Home Inspection Uncovers

Inspectors are not the same and they vary based on experience, thoroughness and ability. A Property Inspector should be a Registered Builder and should be insured to conduct Property Inspections. However, a good inspector should be able to examine certain aspects of the property that you are looking to buy as well as provide you with a report that contains the findings of the inspection. Typically, an inspection will last 1-2 hours. It is recommended that you be present during an inspection. This is to not only get firsthand explanation of findings but also ask any questions that you may have. Also, you are likely to make better sense of any problems uncovered by the inspector if you actually see them rather than only relying on snapshot photos contained in the report.

It is important for an inspector to note:

  • Whether the problem is a major defect, a safety issue or just a minor defect
  • Items that, though suitable for now, should be closely monitored
  • Items that require replacement and which ought to be serviced or repaired

A truly great inspector even tells you of routine maintenance that needs to be performed. This can be especially important for you if you happen to be a buying your first home.

Exterior Inspection

  • Exterior walls – A professional inspector needs to check for missing or damaged claddings, cracks as well as whether the soil is too close to the house’s foundations. This can attract wood-destroying insects. The actual damages as a result of pest destruction will however be revealed by a pest inspector. From the inspector, you should be able to know the problems that are more serious and those that are just minor.
  • Foundations- In most cases, the foundation isn’t visible, which means that it will not be examined directly by the inspector. However, a professional home inspector can still check foundation issues in secondary evidence like settling or cracks.
  • Garage or carport – An inspector tests the garage door to ensure that it closes and opens properly. He also checks garage framing to ensure its viability and also determine if it is properly ventilated.
  • Grading – Through the inspector, you will know whether grading slants away from the house the way it needs to do. In case it does not, there is possibility of water getting into the house which could cause further damage. If that is the case, you need to change the incline of the yard or even have a drainage pipe installed.
  • Roof – Your inspector will examine the roof to see where there is poor installation or damage and if such a defect could let water into the home.

Interior Inspection

  • Plumbing – A home inspector checks showers & baths for any visible leaks, like under the sinks and also tests the pressure of water. The inspector will also check the kinds of pipes that a house has, as well as if any of those pipes are visible. In case the pipes are old, the inspector may advise that a secondary inspection be done to see if the pipes might need replacing as well as what it would cost.
  • Electrical – With regard to electrical inspection, the inspector identifies the type of wiring that the home in question has.
  • Fire safety – Where the home contains a Parti Wall(adjoined to another dwelling by a solid wall), the home inspector will ensure that the walls have proper fire rating as well as that they have not been damaged to the extent that compromise the home’s fire ratings. They also check to see if smoke detectors have been installed correctly in the home.
  • Hot Water Service – Your home inspector will determine where the HWS is as well as if it is correctly installed and secured. Also, he or she will inform you of the state the water heater is in. He or she will also let you know the number of years that the water heater can still serve you.
  • Laundry – It is the work of an inspector to ensure that the laundry room has proper ventilation.
  • Bathrooms – The bathroom is inspected to check if it has properly secured toilets, visible leaks, and proper ventilation among other issues. In case the bathroom contains no window or even a ventilation fan, it is likely that mold and mildew will attack it.

Home Inspection problems

One of the biggest problems with a home inspection is that it cannot point out all the things that are wrong with the house that you intend to buy. For instance, failure of doors to close properly or slanting of the floors may mean that the foundation has cracked. However, if the crack is not identified by having the flooring of the house pulled up, it is not possible for a home inspector to say that there is a crack.

Additionally, majority of home inspectors are not specialists but generalists. It is possible for them to tell you that the plumbing has a problem but will still recommend hiring of an expert plumber to ascertain the problem as well as give you a proper estimate of what it would cost to have the problem fixed. Hiring additional inspectors, of course, costs extra money.

After The Property Inspection

After being presented with a report on the findings of home inspection, there are several options that are available for you:• In case there are significant problems or where fixing them proves too expensive, you can simply back out of the deal to purchase the house as long as your purchase contract contains an inspection contingency.

  • Another option is to ask the homeowner to reduce purchase price so that you can do the repairs yourself or fix the issues before you settle. This is one area where home inspection actually pays for itself over and over again.
  • Where neither of the option are available for your specific situation, you may get estimates for fixing the problems by yourself and create a plan (based on their affordability and importance) of how you will repair them after buying the property.

The Verdict

While a home inspection is sure to cost you money and time, you will be glad of having done it in the long run. Through an inspection, some problems that present owners can fix prior to you moving in will be revealed. This not only saves you money but also time. In case you are planning to buy a house for the first time, you will learn a crash course regarding maintenance as well as a list of times that will make your home safe and sound. This is an important house buying step that you can only skip at your own peril. It is worth every cent.

JKB Property Inspections will also provide you on your First Anniversary of being in your home a Maintenance Manual as well as a Money Back Referral Card.

Please contact JKB Property Inspections on 0422271750 should have any questions regarding our services.