A straightforward home inspection checklist: what you need to know

Although most homebuyers will consider hiring a professional home inspector to check their new homes for them before they sign the final contract, not many are well-versed in what goes into a detailed and accurate home inspection.  It is always best to have a fundamental understanding of what your inspector will be doing so you can best evaluate if he or she is providing you with the best value for your investment.  

Once you have seen a home and are planning to put in an offer to the real estate agent, it would be a good idea to start preparing to get a home inspector on the calendar to go through the home.  

A thorough inspection will take  a couple hours, done right.  And, will cover every nook and cranny of the home; things like the drainage system, electrical system, foundation, roofing, windows etc.  We are highlighting some of the most important areas to look for yourself.

Check for leaks and basement dampness

This is the first and the most important thing that should concern the buyer. This is because leaks and dampness allow water into the house, which moisturize the walls. If moisture is present in a home, it deteriorate the building materials and weaken the walls and framing.  Further, any moisture buildup that doesn’t have adequate ventilation will increase the likelihood of mold developing.  This can be dangerous for your health and cause significant problems requiring major remediation that could be very costly.

Check the electrical system, appliances, and the Heating/Cooling system

Checking to be sure all electrical equipment, appliances, switches and outlets are working properly is a basic thing to do but very important.  If you find certain appliances not working or lights flickering, it could mean that the main electrical panel might be overloaded or might require upgrading to a new form of service.  This would be a very costly repair that could deter you from actually purchasing the home altogether.

Also, checking on the main appliances and the HVAC system is important seeing they are all high ticket items.  If there isn’t adequate ventilation or space for wiring or air filtration, there is always the risk of fire or other damage.

Verify the plumbing (water and drainage system)

No doubt the plumbing system is an important piece of a well-executed inspection.  You should be looking at things like fixtures, faucets, the water heater, drainage system, ventilation system, waste disposal system and so on.  They should be noted and if any repair or replacement is required.  Finding water damage behind cabinets or in walls could also lead to a spread of toxic mold, something that would require a separate mold assessment and a potential mold remediation that could cost thousands of dollars.

It is always best for you to schedule to be present with your home inspector when they are actually walking the home you are looking to purchase.  They can show you all the little details that the average person would miss.  It makes for a great educational experience and gives you confidence of the decision you are about to make, whether to buy or walk away.

If you have questions about other home inspection or mold assessment services, please contact Bald Eagle Inspection Services.  We service all of Albany’s Capital Region, conducting both residential and commercial inspections.

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