What Are They And Why You Should Have One?
Buying a home is one
of the most important Investments that you will make in your lifetime and more
than likely, you will do this more than once. A comprehensive home inspection is highly
recommended prior to purchasing a home.
What is a home
A home inspection is a limited, non-invasive
examination of the condition of a home, often in connection with the
sale of that home. Home inspections are usually conducted by a home
inspector who has the training and certifications to perform such inspections.
In addition, a termite, radon, septic and well inspections may be required. A
pool and spa inspection is also common.
According to the National Association of
Realtors consumer guide, a home inspection
is “a noninvasive visual examination of some combination of the mechanical,
electrical or plumbing systems or the structural and essential components of a
residential dwelling designed to identify material defects in those systems and
components and performed for a fee in connection with or preparation for a
proposed or possible residential real estate transfer. The term also includes
any consultation regarding the property that is represented to be a home
inspection or that is described by any confusingly similar term.”
According to Steve recommend, A Bucks County and regional Home
Inspector, “Home inspections
typically take from 2-3 hours long depending on the size and condition of the
home and you are encouraged to follow along throughout the inspection.
During the inspection process a detailed report complete with digital photos
will be prepared. The results will be reviewed and presented after the
inspection or a PDF file can be emailed.” Once reviewed with the buyer and
their Realtor®, a proposal to the sellers may be made for corrective action (if
warranted) or a credit. Or perhaps, nothing is wrong! These items are
negotiable under home inspection contingencies which have specific time-lines
within the context of the Agreement of sale.
Items that are
typically inspected in the interior of the home include major systems such as:
Heating and air conditioning systems.
The electrical components including outlets,
proper GFCI function and the electrical panel box. Proper wiring and grounding
is also checked.
The plumbing system including possible leaks in
faucets, toilets, waste lines and more.
Appliances such as the dishwasher, range/oven and
Door and window functionality including broken
Hot water heater
Garage door and openers including safe function of
Smoke detectors (not tested unless by a Use and Occupancy
code) But strongly recommended!
Interior roof trusses and an attic inspection
for proper insulation and potential leaks.
The foundation of the home for excessive cracks
and water penetration.
Basements for mold (could be a separate
inspection in itself), excessive cracks in walls and floors, sump pump
functionality (if applicable), beams and overall foundation.
A termite inspection usually encompasses the
interior and exterior inspection. Mortgage companies typically require this.
Items that are
typically inspected in the exterior of the home include:
A roof inspection for missing shingles, leaks
and proper flashing Also includes roof
vents (for proper seals) ridge vents, soffits and the overall condition of the
The exterior stucco, siding, brick, etc. Note
that there may also be a separate stucco inspection by a certified stucco
inspector. This is common with many relocation companies to certify that the
stucco is properly installed.
Proper grading near the home for potential water
Gutter system for clogging and proper function.
Decks, balconies, porches and patios.
All exterior trim and flashing.
Exterior window inspection for proper caulking.
Driveway and sidewalk condition including steps.
Overgrown vegetation near the home. Usually near A/C unit and vent areas.
A pool/hut tub inspection if applicable.
Detached garage structures including roofing
A radon inspection is
also highly recommendation to insure proper and safe levels. There may be other inspections that are
required that are not listed here including a separate Use and Occupancy of a Certificate Of Occupancy for new construction.
In any event, a home inspection should include material
defects. Occasionally cosmetic issues may be noted in the report including
floor condition, ceiling cracks, etc., but may not be considered a material
defect. A written report is given to the
home buyer and this is reviewed with their Realtor® as inspection items may be negotiated
as noted in the agreement of sale and most always has specific time-lines. Corrective
action is also included in the scope of the report.
In any event, if you are purchasing a home whether it is resale
or new construction, Real Estate can be one of the largest investments that you will ever make. Therefore, I always recommend getting a home inspection by a
certified home inspector.
Frank Dolski MBA, ABR, e-PRO
Certified Relocation Specialist
Previews Luxury Home Specialist
Coldwell Banker Hearthside Realtors
2006-2013 Top Producing Agent and Agent of the year for Coldwell Banker
Hearthside in Lahaska Office!
2013 Coldwell Banker President’s Circle Recipient – Top 6% of all Coldwell
Banker International Realtors.
Ranked in the top 1% of all Bucks County Realtor in 2013!