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What's Included in a Home Inspection?

By: Doris Dixon, T-Square Real Estate Services, Inc.


Are you looking forward to a home inspection?


Preparing your property for a home inspection is important to ensure everything goes smoothly. But many homeowners are not sure how to prepare.


The confusion doesn't only affect sellers. Whereas sellers know that they need to get their home in great shape, says T-Square Management in Lynnwood, buyers may feel doubtful about whether they have any tasks too.


In this article, we'll list the common procedures and areas of interest in home inspections. You'll learn about how to prepare for the inspection as a buyer or seller before signing any agreements.


What is the main focus of a home inspection?


Home inspectors visit properties in a structured manner. Since they don't have the entire day to spend inside the home, inspectors focus on key areas that have the highest impact in the context of a home sale.


The particular methods, schedules, and other details vary across property inspection companies and individual inspectors. But there are still main approaches that are quite universal across the home inspection industry.


The following areas are virtually guaranteed to be included in your home inspection:


  1. Safety

The overall safety of your home is under scrutiny whenever a home inspector pays a visit. Safety issues are often a deal-breaker in property transactions, which is why inspectors focus on them. The safety inspection covers key elements like guardrails, handrails, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, garage door openers, proper electrical outlets, and more.


  1. Plumbing


Understanding the current state of plumbing is important before every home purchase. The home inspector will check that piping and its connected parts work without any issues. Properties with plumbing problems are at an increased risk of major flooding, smaller or larger water leaks, and concurrent mold issues.


  1. HVAC

Home inspectors will take a good look at the HVAC system. They will note any damage or outright malfunction of the HVAC unit(s) or components. Focusing on potential HVAC issues is crucial because this system is tied to the property's overall habitability and safety. For example, loose flue pipe connections or clogged filters could jeopardize the residents and their pets inside.


  1. Roof

The roof stands between the people dwelling inside and the harsh outside elements. Having the current condition evaluated by an expert is essential because unnoticed roof problems are likely to create costly repairs in the long run. Usually, the inspector will check the roof for damage, sealants, proper installation, water leaks, rot, and missing components.


  1. Doors and windows

The home inspection is likely to include a check for any damage to your doors and windows. Prominent cracks, worn caulking, and destructive rot are some of the typical issues in this regard. The extra attention is paid to these parts of your home because, like roofs, repairs can be costly the longer they go unaddressed. Even old, but properly functioning windows can risk substantial energy loss and high utility costs over the year(s).


  1. Foundation

This is one of the most important aspects covered in a home inspection. The foundation of your home supports the entire structure of the building. It's essential from the buyer's standpoint that there are no serious issues with it. A failing foundation is linked to many structural and cosmetic problems in your property that will cost a lot to fix.


How can buyers and sellers prepare for an inspection?


Buyers

  • Negotiate when the inspection uncovers serious issues.

  • Add the home inspection as a contract contingency to protect your interests as a buyer.

  • Attend the home inspection. Be active and ask relevant questions to get a better feel of the home.


Sellers

  • Gather all the essential documents and paperwork. Show these to the inspector should they ask for additional documentation.

  • When you are fully aware of major problems regarding your property, take steps to fix these issues before the inspection day.

  • Ensure full access to all the areas of your home. Leave on your utilities because the inspector needs power for some checks.


In a Nutshell: What's Included in a Home Inspection?

A home inspection constitutes a major part of every home purchase. These inspections may uncover hidden faults that would otherwise end up as hefty expenses for buyers.


A typical home inspection aims to answer the following questions:


  • Are there any foundation issues? Has structural integrity been compromised?

  • Is the HVAC system, plumbing, and roofing in good condition?

  • Is it possible to spot any faults with doors and windows?

  • Is the home safe and fit for everyday living?

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