What to expect from a home inspection
Foundation: Inspector looks at the base of the walls and the ceilings in each room. Are there obvious cracks or apparent shifts in the foundation? The licensed inspector checks around the outside of the home as well. Are there any trees encroaching on the foundation? Is the sidewalk and driveway in good order?
Lot: Does the drainage appear to be away from the house? Are there any obvious soggy areas?
Roof: What is the overall condition? When was it last replaced? Is there a chimney? If so it will be inspected.
Exterior: Does the house look like it will need repairs or repainting soon? (Painting is actually not an inspection item) Are gutters and downspouts firmly attached? Are there loose boards, siding or dangling wires? Any decks or patios will be thoroughly checked. Is there rotted wood?
Attic: How does the interior of the roof structure look? Are there any signs of leaks? Does the attic fan work properly? Is the insulation sufficient?
Interior evidence of leaks: What’s checked- ceilings and around windows in each room. Bathrooms and kitchens are checked for leaks.
Basement: Is there dampness? Adequate insulation? Signs of mold?
Electrical: Do the switches and outlets work? Are there any obvious malfunctions? Have the outlets been grounded? Is the panel updated and expandable for additional appliances or a potential remodel? Are the outlets GFI?
Plumbing: Any unusual noises or malfunctions? Has the sewer line been scoped to check for potential cracks? Do toilets and faucets work correctly?
Windows and Doors: Do they close/open/lock correctly? Do windows have a broken seal and look foggy?
Appliances: If these are included, what is the age and condition of the stove, dishwasher, washer/dryer or refrigerator? It is NOT an inspection item if they work properly, but are older. Many types of loans require all appliances are present.
Heating/cooling system: Do they work? How old is the furnace and water heater? If the system has been converted, are the old systems or tanks still in place?
Odor: Does the home smell? Can inspector detect what it might be and whether it could be fixed? Beware of musty odors which could signal a wet, moldy basement. A mold test can be performed to determine if there is mold.
Are there outside fences or gates? They will be inspected. Sheds and garages will be inspected.
Buyer might ask for radon and/or termite inspection.
Fireplaces are checked.
Once the home inspection has been completed (usually done within 7-10 days from ratified contract) and a report delivered to seller…negotiations begin to resolve inspection items or agree on a monetary amount. Buyers are allowed to back out of purchasing the home for any reason at this point of the transaction.