What Your Inspection Should Cover
Siding: Look for dents or buckling
Foundations: Look for cracks or water seepage
Exterior Brick: Look for cracked bricks or mortar pulling away from bricks
Insulation: Look for condition, adequate rating for climate (the higher the R value, the more effective the insulation is)
Doors and Windows: Look for loose or tight fits, condition of locks, condition of weatherstripping
Roof: Look for age, conditions of flashing, pooling water, buckled shingles, or loose gutters and downspouts
Ceilings, walls, and moldings: Look for loose pieces, dry wall that is pulling away.
Porch/Deck: Loose railings or step, rot
Electrical: Look for condition of fuse box/circuit breakers, number of outlets in each room
Plumbing: Look for poor water pressure, banging pipes, rust spots or corrosion that indicate leaks, sufficient insulation
Water Heater: Look for age, size adequate for house, speed of recovery, energy rating.
Furnace/Air Conditioning: Look for age, energy rating. Furnaces are rated by annual fuel utilization efficiency; the higher the rating, the lower your fuel costs. However, other factors such as payback period and other operating costs, such as electricity to operate motors.
Garage: Look for exterior in good repair; condition of floor—cracks, stains, etc.; condition of door mechanism.
Basement: Look for water leakage, musty smell.
Attic: Look for adequate ventilation, water leaks from roof.
Septic Tanks (if applicable): Adequate absorption field capacity for the percolation rate in your area and the size of your family.
Driveways/Sidewalks: Look for cracks, heaving pavement, crumbling near edges, stains.
Source: National Association of REALTORS®
10 Most Common Home Defects
1. Poor Drainage- Improper drainage can lead to water intrusion in the basement of homes and even severely compromised foundations.
2. Failing or Aging Heating and Cooling Systems- Older heating and cooling systems require maintenance and may be energy inefficient. There is also the risk that they can emit dangerous carbon monoxide fumes that are harmful to the family.
3. Environmental Hazards- Older homes may contain lead-based paint, high levels of carbon monoxide, radon, toxic molds, and even asbestos.
4. Inadequate Ventilation- This occurs when moisture accumulates in homes, which damages interior walls and structural elements.
5. Improper Maintenance- Taking poor care of your household appliances can create consequences. Simple actions like cleaning out the lint trap in the clothes dryer can help prevent a fire.
6. Plumbing Problems- The pipes under your sink can be made of incompatible materials that lead to dripping faucets, leaking fixtures, and slow drains.
7. Roof Problems- The roof of your home may contain old or damaged shingles and improper flashing due to rain. The overall structure of the roof may be affected because of improperly installed collar ties and ridge beam supports.
8. No Permit- Many homes do not have permits for finished basements, deck additions, and hot tub and pool additions. This can lead to unnecessary fines when putting the house up for sale.
9. Electrical Safety Issues- A home with an out-of-date or insufficient electrical system can lead to fires and electric shock. Examples of other electrical safety hazards are ungrounded outlets, lack of Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI), aluminum wiring, and faulty wiring conditions in electrical panels or elsewhere in a building. These are potentially hazardous defects and not to be taken lightly.
10. Rotted Wood- Wood placed around areas that are frequently wet can begin to rot. Wood around bathtubs, showers, and toilets are especially defective. The exterior of the home, including the outside trim of the house, decks, and roof eaves, should also be checked regularly for signs of rotting.
Knowing the top 10 most common house defects can help you prepare to put your home on the market. Check these areas of the home often to prevent damage and provide repairs when needed.
Source: HomeTeam Inspections
10 Questions to Ask a Home Inspector
1. What are your qualifications? Are you a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors or National Association of Home Inspectors?
2. Do you have a current license? Inspectors are not required to be licensed in every state.
3. How many inspections of properties such as this do you do each year?
4. Do you have a list of past clients I can contact?
5. Do you carry professional errors and omission insurance? May I have a copy of the policy?
6. Do you provide any guarantees of your work?
7. What specifically will the inspection cover?
8. What type of report will I receive after the inspection?
9. How long will the inspection take and how long will it take to receive the report?
10. How much will the inspection cost?
Source: National Association of REALTORS®