Home inspections 101

The process of buying a home can be unlike any experience prospective buyers have ever had. After finding a home they like and coming to an agreement on a sale price with the seller, buyers can expect to add many items to their to-do list. One of the first things to jot down on that list is scheduling a home inspection.

Home inspections are a vital part of the home buying process. Such inspections can protect buyers as they’re on the cusp of making what will likely be the most significant investment of their lives. Understanding the home inspection process can help buyers during an exciting yet potentially nerve-wracking time in their lives.

What is a home inspection?

The American Society of Home Inspectors defines a home inspection as an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house. Inspectors will conduct visual examinations from the roof to the foundation of the home. Additional structures on the property, such as sheds or detached outdoor living areas, are not typically included in the examination.

What do inspectors examine?

The ASHI notes that inspectors will examine the condition of various parts of the home. The heating system, central air conditioning unit, interior plumbing and electrical systems, roof (though inspectors will not climb onto the roof), attic and insulation will be examined. Inspectors also will examine walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, the foundation of the home, basement (or crawl space), and structural components.

Can a home fail inspection?

Homes cannot fail home inspections, which are just assessments of a home’s existing condition. Municipal inspections are separate inspections conducted by government agencies to verify that a property is in compliance with local codes. Home inspectors will provide detailed reports describing the condition of a home and indicate if any repairs are in order.

Do I really need a home inspection?

A home inspection is a vital component that can help buyers make the most informed decision possible. Forgoing an inspection can leave buyers vulnerable to potentially costly repairs and issues with a home that might have been detected with a proper home inspection. In addition, some lenders insist that buyers have home inspections conducted before they will allow them to borrow money.

Home inspections can protect home buyers as they prepare to make the most significant financial investment of their lives. More information about inspections can be found at www.homeinspector.org.


Recommended for you