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What is a Home Inspection and Why They Matter!

a living room with a fireplace

The weather and real estate market start to heat up around the same time. Yes, as the calendar turns to spring, then more homes hit the market. For any potential homeowners or current homeowners looking to upgrade, then the home inspection is a vital step in the home buying process.

To help, here are some common questions about the home inspection process. After all, your home is not only a huge investment, it also provides comfort for your family.

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection provides a thorough evaluation of a home. Potential homebuyers hire home inspectors to identify potential problems, along with learn about how the home works. As Alden Gibson, president of the American Society of Home Inspectors notes,

"We want to teach [homeowners] how to maintain the property, because it's the biggest investment they'll ever make."

Do homebuyers need a home inspection?

While a home inspection may or may not be required by a mortgage provider, the home inspection provides an peace of mind and security, among other important factors.

For example, the home inspection provides warning signals if there are any issues with the major systems in the home (such as electrical, plumbing, HVAC). The inspector will provide a detailed report that outlines the condition of your home and can aid in proper maintenance plans in the future. Additionally, the home inspection:

  • uncovers any potential safety issues.
  • highlights any future expenses (such as the condition/age of the roof).
  • identifies any structural issues (such as cracks in the ceilings, walls, foundation, door frames).

For an additional reference, the home inspection is completed by the overwhelming majority of home buyers.

Should I attend the home inspection?

Yes, as the homebuyer, you are hiring the inspector!

Not only should you attend the inspection, but you should feel comfortable "shadowing" the inspector around the home. It is important to communicate the process and your expectations with the inspector to ensure each party is comfortable.

At the end of the inspection, then you definitely should review the end-of-inspection report in person, while both of you are still at the property. The report is typically 30-50 pages long, so if you are new to the process, this can be very confusing to review by yourself.

What can go wrong with a home inspection?

Many issues can be discovered during a home inspection, so that is why it is important to attend and understand how your home operates!

What does the home inspection cover?

A home inspection can make or break a home purchase based on the evaluation of the home's condition. An inspection provides valuable information about the home to the buyer and allows the buyer to cancel the deal if a major problem is discovered.

To aid in understand what to expect, then here is an overview of how an individual vs professional home inspection covers.

Personal Home Inspection

Regardless of your home knowledge, walking through a potential home is an important step because this will eliminate houses that have significant problems.

Plus, a personal inspection will help you identify issues to mention to the professional inspector if you decide to purchase the home. In particular, look at the condition of the following:

  • Roof
  • Porch
  • Paint/Siding
  • Gutters
  • Windows
  • Leaky faucets
  • Running Toilets
  • Exposed Wiring
  • Signs of Water Damage
  • Condition of the HVAC System

Professional Home Inspection

As noted, it is important to hire an experienced and professional inspector. Although a real estate agent may provide references, it is ok to ask a few questions, such as:

  • how long he has been performing inspections.
  • if you will receive a detailed written report.
  • what type of certifications the inspector received.
  • what locations will be covered in the home inspection.

It is perfectly acceptable to follow the inspector during the inspection and ask any questions you have. It is particularly important to take notes during the walk-through, as the inspector will also point out any possible future problems.

All of the areas you looked at in your personal inspection should be reviewed by the professional inspector. In addition, the inspector should check the heating and cooling systems for leaks and signs of damage, test outlets and electrical systems, and evaluate the firmness and level of the floors in the home.

What does a home inspection not cover?

There are certain tests that are not covered through a professional home inspection, which includes checking for lead paint, radon gas, pest infestations and house mold. The inspector will recommend these types of specialized tests if he believes one of these issues exists in the home or is a known problem in the neighborhood.

Increasingly, home energy audits are worthwhile prior to purchasing a home. The standard home inspection will provide information on the structure of the home, but not necessarily on the efficiency.

At Snappy, we work with all homeowners or potential homeowners to make homes more efficient, which will save you money in the long run!

Not sure if you need or qualify for a Home Comfort and Energy Checkup? Give us a call to schedule a FREE Assessment and let one of our Energy Advisors determine the efficiency of your home.

Our team is ready and able to pinpoint the following during the check up process:

  • Air leaks
  • Insufficient insulation
  • Moisture build-up
  • Defective and leaking ducts
  • Gas or carbon monoxide leaks
  • Ventilation problems
  • Inefficient lighting and appliances
  • Inefficient heating & cooling systems

Ultimately, purchasing a home is most likely the most expensive purchase any of us will make. Home inspections are useful because they provide an independent audit and evaluation. If the inspector finds any issues, then you have the opportunity to resolve the issues prior to purchasing and moving into the home.

The Snappy team specializes in home services. From plumbing and HVAC to electrical and energy audits, we have the experience to ensure your investment in that new home is worth every penny!

If you have any home needs, then contact us today!