Whether you’re buying your first home or your next home, you should know what to expect from a home inspection. Getting your potential purchase inspected by a licensed home inspector is a critically important part of the home-buying process. An inspection report is required for many home loans to be approved and funded. Your home loan officer at the Potempa Team will be able to advise you if one is required for your loan. Regardless, it’s always a good idea to know what you’re buying before you close!
What is a Home Inspection?
Conducted by impartial third-party professionals, the home inspection provides a comprehensive assessment of a property’s condition and any necessary repairs. Typically, the costs associated with getting the home inspection done are covered by the prospective home buyer. In some cases, the seller may already have had their home pre-inspected. In this situation, most states require that the seller give you a copy of that report. You can then choose whether you want to get a second inspection done by a home inspector of your choice.
The home inspection report is a very important part of the negotiation process, potentially leading to monetary concessions from the seller, adjustments to the property’s asking price, and approval or rejection of your home loan. In addition, it also provides peace of mind about what exactly you’re buying.
What Do Inspectors Look for During the Inspection?
Your home inspection should be thorough. Here’s a brief overview of what home inspectors typically look for during an inspection. This is not meant to be comprehensive. Please be aware that there may be differences from state to state as well! Consult with your real estate agent for more information about what a home inspection near you will cover.
Exterior Elements: Home inspectors assess the condition of the roof, checking for signs of damage. They examine gutters, downspouts, and drainage patterns around the house to ensure water flows away from the structure. The condition of sidewalks, driveways, and landscaping is documented.
Foundation and Structural Integrity: Inspectors look for any signs of foundation issues, such as cracking or bowing, that may require repairs. They assess the straightness of walls and the alignment of window and door frames. Additionally, inspectors check for wood-to-ground contact. Damage to bricks, siding, and other exterior elements is noted.
Interior Elements: Inside the property, inspectors thoroughly check every room of the home for signs of water damage or structural issues, along with the condition and functionality of light switches, electrical outlets, air vents, and fireplaces. If present in the home, inspectors will visit the basement or crawlspace to look for issues like uninsulated pipes and leaks. They will also review the home’s electrical for cracked insulation, arching, and improper connections. They also check the amperage provided by the electrical panel, ensuring it meets the home’s needs.
HVAC Systems: The home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is examined for proper operation and the absence of mechanical problems. Inspectors look for open seams in flues and assess the condition of ductwork, checking for rust. Air filters are inspected as well.
Bathrooms and Kitchens: In bathrooms and kitchens, all fixtures such as sinks, showers, tubs, toilets, and appliances are inspected for proper functioning. Drainpipes, garbage disposal units, and water heaters are also evaluated. Electrical outlets in these areas are checked for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) protection.
What Happens After You Receive the Home Inspection Report?
After the home inspection, you will receive a copy of the report which your real estate agent will review with you. At that time, you will decide if you want to ask for repair credits from the seller or move forward with purchasing the home as-is. In that case, it will be up to you to make any needed repairs for your loan to be approved. Many loans have a series of requirements a home must meet for the funding to be approved. These are often issues of minimum habitability but can include additional requirements like hot water heater strapping in earthquake-prone areas. Your loan officer at the Potempa Team will usually need a copy of both the home inspection report and later confirmation of any completed repairs.
Should you decide to move forward with your home, you will continue working alongside both your real estate agent and your loan officer at the Potempa Team to complete your purchase. We are here to answer any questions for you throughout the process, so please don’t hesitate to ask!