"Buying a home is expensive. Then why would you choose to put over more money if you're not required to?"
The answer is Home inspections are used to provide an opportunity for a buyer to identify any major issues with a home prior to closing. Your first clue that a home inspection is important is that it can be used as a contingency in your contract with the seller. This contingency provides that if significant defects are revealed by a home inspection, you can back out of your purchase offer, free of penalty, within a certain timeframe. The potential problems a home can have must be pretty serious if they could allow you to walk away from such a significant contract.
What ANR Home Inspection Covers:
Inspectors vary in experience, ability, and thoroughness, but a good inspector should examine certain components of the home and then produce a report covering their findings. The typical inspection lasts one to two hours and you should be present for the inspection to get a firsthand explanation of our findings and, if necessary, ask questions. Also, any problems that we uncover will make more sense if you see them in person instead of relying solely on the snapshot photos in the report.
We will note:
Whether each problem is a safety issue, major defect, or minor defect.
Which items need replacement and which should be repaired or serviced.
Items that are suitable for now but that should be monitored closely.
ANR Home Inspections will even tell you about routine maintenance that should be performed, which can be a great help if you are a first-time homebuyer.
While it is impossible to list everything we could possibly check for, the following list will give you a general idea of what to expect:
We will complete a full inspection of the outside of the structure.
We will check for damaged or missing siding, cracks and whether the soil is in excessively close contact with the bottom of the house, which can invite wood-destroying insects. However, the pest inspector (yes, you might want to engage one of those too), not the home inspector, will check for actual damage from termites, etc. We will let you know which problems are cosmetic and which could be more serious.
If the foundation is not visible, and it usually is not, we will check for evidence of foundation issues, like cracks or settling.
We will let you know whether the grading slopes away from the house as it should. If it doesn't, water could get into the house and cause damage, and you will need to either change the slope of the yard or install a drainage system.
We will test the garage door for proper opening and closing, check the garage framing if it is visible and determine if the garage is properly ventilated (to prevent accidental carbon monoxide poisoning). If the water heater is in the garage, We will make sure it is installed high enough off the ground to minimize the risk of explosion from gasoline fumes mingling with the heater's flame.
We will check for areas where roof damage or poor installation could allow water to enter the home, such as loose, missing or improperly secured shingles and cracked or damaged mastic around vents. We will also check the condition of the gutters.
We will also complete a thorough inspection of the interior of the home. We will inspect everything from the ceiling to the cabinets under the sink.
We will check faucets and showers, look for visible leaks and test the water pressure. We will also identify the kind of pipes the house has if any pipes are visible and whether they need to be replaced or not. We will also identify the location of the home's main water shutoff valve.
We will identify the kind of wiring the home has, test the outlets and make sure there are functional ground fault circuit interrupters (which can protect you from electrocution, electric shock, and electrical burns) installed in areas like the bathrooms, kitchen, garage and outdoors. We will also check your electrical panel for any safety issues and check your electrical outlets to make sure they do not present a fire hazard. We will also test the home's smoke detectors.
Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
We will look at your HVAC system to estimate the age of the furnace and air conditioner, determine if they function properly and recommend repairs or maintenance. We can also give you an idea of the age of the home's ducting, whether it might have leaks and if your home has sufficient insulation to minimize your energy bills.
We will identify the age of the heater and determine if it is properly installed and secured. We will also let you know what kind of condition it is in and give you a general idea of how many years it has left.
We may check kitchen appliances that come with the home to make sure they work, but these are not always part of the inspection. If you think you'll want to keep them, be sure to ask which ones are not included so that you can test them yourself.
We will make sure the laundry room is properly vented. A poorly maintained dryer-exhaust system can be a serious fire hazard.
We will check for visible leaks, properly secured toilets, adequate ventilation, and other issues. If the bathroom does not have a window and/or a ventilation fan, mold and mildew can become problems and moisture can warp wood cabinets over time.
A home inspection will cost you a little bit of time and money, but in the long run, you'll be glad you did it. The inspection can reveal problems that you may be able to get the current owners to fix before you move in – or else, prevent you from inadvertently buying a money pit. For new home construction, it’s an imperative part of the home buying process. If you are a first-time homebuyer, an inspection can give you a crash course in home maintenance and a checklist of items that need attention to make your home as safe and sound as possible. Whatever the situation, addressing issues early through a home inspection can save you tens of thousands of dollars down the road.