We are in the process of buying a new home. Itâ€™s taken 3 years to sell our previous home. We close tomorrow. I canâ€™t even relay the level of excitement that we are experiencing.
Long story short, we have accepted an offer on our house and found a new home to make an offer on ourselves. Â After a little back and forth, an agreement was reached. But first there was the matter of the home inspection.
Youâ€™ve heard of this, right? Our two previous homes were new builds but we were still recommended to have a home inspection, just to cover our bases and so we did, both times. Of course, neither time were we expected to be there and were there any issues found, to our knowledge. Thatâ€™s not to say there were not issues, just none that the inspector caught, which was evident by the radon removing device we had to have installed shortly after we moved into our second home with a newborn. Thanks inspector.
We never even knew that the homeowner could be present at the inspection. You can, in case you were wondering. In fact, I would recommend that every person who has made an offer on a house first, make the sale contingent on the home passing the home inspection and secondly, attend the home inspection of your prospective new home. This is the first time an agent has suggested it to us and the inspector himself, mandated it.
The inspection took 5 hours. It was a 2-story home with a little over 2000 square feet. Thatâ€™s about 400 square feet per hour. If you have a less thorough inspector or a smaller home, it will take considerably less and if you do not attend, even less than that. I do not recommend missing the inspection, ever. Do yourself and your wallet a favor and get a good inspector.
A good thorough, qualified home inspector will inspect every single nook and cranny of your home, which may at the time seem unneeded especially if you have a new build, but believe me, itâ€™s better to suffer through the inspection today than to buy the house and pay the thousands of dollars that it may require to bring the house back to safety and code conditions.
These are the general areas that every inspector should be checking and if you are there, you can be sure he will do it.
The Grounds:Â Driveway, sidewalks, retaining walls, patio, patio cover, decks/porch and fences and gates.
Exterior: Exterior stairs, exterior walls, trim, chimney, sprinklers, hose faucets, and gutters and downspouts.
Foundation: Grading, slab-on-grade, raised foundation, crawlspace, floor structure, base foundation, basement, floor structure.
Roof: Shingle/shake, tile roof, built-up/low slope, and exposed flashings.
Plumbing: Main line, supply line, waste line, fuel system, and water heater.
Heating: Description, condition, venting, combustion air, burners and distribution.
Heat/Cool: Controls, filters, evaporative cooler, air conditioning, power, condensate, refrigerate lines.
Electrical: Service, main panel, conductors and sub-panels.
Interior: Interior walls, entry doors, interior doors, exterior doors, windows, ceilings and floors. fireplaces, ceiling fans, stairs, wet bar, smoke detectors, laundry, attic and ventilation and insulation.
Garage: Floor, firewall/ceiling, ventilation, door, exterior door, vehicle door, automatic opener and electrical.
Kitchen: Sink, floors, disposal, range/cooktop, and dishwasher.
Bathrooms: Toilets, sinks, vents/heat, bathtub and shower.
These are all things that should be checked in a thorough inspection. Your inspector should also go onto the roof to make a verbal assessment and all the way into the attic. Just sticking your head through the access hole will not give an inspector adequate access to check the attic thoroughly.
Also, your inspector should take lots of photos to use in the report. In my opinion, no one should ever buy a house without first having a whole house inspection. You must make the sale contingent upon one or you may find yourself facing hundreds if not thousands of dollars in repairs.
I should know; our inspection just revealed foundation issues that will entail the back end of the home being lifted and foundation being repaired. That will include all the floors being ripped out, foundation lifted and cracks fixed. That will cost thousands. Did I mention that a plumbing issue was found? That could mean mold issues.
Thank God the inspection caught all of these things and loads more that potentially saved us from a money pit.
Did you have a whole home inspection before you bought your last home? Will you before you buy your next one?
Photo Credit: USACE public affairs