When buying a new home, anything missed on the home inspection could end up costing you a lot of money. Each state has varying qualification requirements for home inspectors. Some states require extensive training while other states only require home inspectors to have a business license and letter of recommendation. Therefore, it’s a good idea for you to do your research on who is a trusted home inspector. Also ask for a list of items that will be looked at during the home inspection. Here are six things you should make sure are on that list, according to Realtor.com.
An inspector should check to make sure appliances (like the washer, dryer, and dishwasher) are working smoothly and aren’t leaking. Usually they will check them but they don’t always check all the details. For example, they probably won’t check the water dispenser on the fridge. If it isn’t checked and there is a hidden problem with it, you could end up with a flooded kitchen.
The inspector should be turning on all the faucets, flushing the toilets multiple times, and checking drain pipes for leaks while the water is running. The showers should also be checked for any faulty tile grout or caulk.
Cracked sewage and drainage pipes
Inspections are only done for what is visible and accessible. There is an option to pay extra for the inspector to use a camera that will go inside the buried drains. It’ll be about a couple hundred dollars but that is nothing compared to the thousands it would cost you if you did need to repair or replace a pipe.
Corroded central air conditioning
It has to be at least 55 degrees fahrenheit outside in order to test a unit because a temperature any lower than that can damage the air conditioner. If it is colder than 55 degrees, the inspector might not even look at the air conditioner. If it isn’t warm enough, ask the inspector how he looks for possible problems. If it is warm enough, the inspector should have it run for at least a few hours in order to check for condensation or water seeping through the walls.
Bad DIY improvements
Previous owners may have done improper DIY projects and they could be dangerous. If a basement or attic is re-done without a permit, electrical and plumbing work might not be up to code. Not only could this damage your home, it could be dangerous for you. Be sure your inspector checks construction permits.
Damp porches, decks, and balconies
These can pose a serious risk of potentially collapsing if they are damp. Ask your inspector to check for cracks, rusted flashing, and soft areas around drains to make sure water isn’t getting into your home.
Finally, most home inspections are done months before a closing. If this is the case for you, have a second inspection done right before the closing because a lot can change in this period of time.