Home » Real Estate

The Lowdown On Home Inspections: Why You Need Them

May 4, 2008
A home inspection is a critical part of the process of buying a home. Your financing lender will require a report from a professional home inspector whenever you're purchasing a home that's already built.

Don't confuse a home inspection with an appraisal. A home inspector is providing an objective review of the physical condition of the property rather than evaluating the house to determine its cost or market value like an appraiser would.

While the appraisal process is often questionable since so many appraisers are subject to pressure from brokers, agents or loan reps for the appraisal to meet a certain value in order for the property to close so everyone can make their money, nobody is really in the ear of a home inspector. A walk-thru from a professional home inspector is done to protect the buyer. As a buyer, you can demand that your offer be contingent on the results of a home inspection, protecting you from a potentially bad investment.

Routine home inspections can also help homeowners maintain the health of their home by catching small problems before they become major expenses! If you're a homeowner considering listing your home "For Sale" in your local real estate market, it may be within your best interest to order a home inspection on your own to disclose any necessary repairs or upgrades to a potential buyer, or resolve these matters yourself, so they are no longer issues when you list or start showing your property.

A home inspection can last anywhere from two to three hours, sometimes even longer, depending on the age and size of the house. It's recommended that you make an attempt to be present during the inspection. It's important to ask the inspector questions and to be present for he or she to go over any issues they may find with the property. Your presence gives them a better opportunity to explain everything verbally and counsel you on options that you have in regard to maintenance or repair.

Your inspector will typically look for the following:

Structural Components: A home inspector will check the foundation of your home to ensure there is no water seepage. They will inspect ceilings, walls and moldings for any loose pieces, dry wall that may be pulling away or cracking. The basement area will be examined for water leakage or a musty smell.

Exterior Components: An inspector will look at your siding for any visible dents or buckling. The exterior brick will be carefully examined. Larger cracks and cracks through bricks are often indicative of a potential foundation problem. Smaller cracks in the mortar and instances of mortar pulling away from the brick may indicate ordinary expansion or contraction of the construction materials. Any porches or decks will be examined for loose railings, dangerous steps or woodwork that is rotting. The condition of driveways and sidewalks will be under close scrutiny as the inspector checks for cracks, heaving pavement and crumbling around the edges. The inspector will also look at both attached and detached garages for potential problems. Doors and windows will be checked for looseness or tight fits, the shape and condition of locks and weatherstripping.

Roofing: The condition of the roof is very important. Finding out that a property is in need of a new roof is a deal breaker for many potential buyers. A home inspector will look for missing or deformed shingles, buckling shingles, pooling water, algal growth, loose gutters, downspouts and blistering or corroded flashing. The condition of the chimney will also be looked at carefully. The inspector will also look at the ceilings in the attic or upper floor to see if there is any visible water damage from a leaky roof.

Plumbing: The inspector will carefully scan the plumbing to look for instances of poor water pressure, loud banging pipes, corrosion or rust spots that often indicate leaks and if there is adequate insulation.

Appliances: When a home inspector examines things like the water heater or furnace, they are taking into consideration their age, their energy rating and whether or not their size and condition are adequate for the house. An inspector will also check out air conditioning units if applicable.

Electrical: A home inspector typically does a surface electrical inspection. They will flip light switches off and on, study any visible wiring in the basement or attic, and look at the condition of the fuse box/circuit breakers and the number of outlets per room. However, if the home is over 40 years old, has had major renovations and large appliances added within the past ten years, the Electrical Safety Foundation International recommends a separate and comprehensive electrical inspection by an electrician.

A home inspection is akin to expert advice from a reliable expert, looking out for your best interest, with no ulterior motive. This isn't a contractor or auto mechanic, exaggerating problems in order to squeeze more money from you. The home inspector has nothing to gain beyond protecting buyers and homeowners.
About the Author
John is a contributor to a Hartford, Stamford, and Greenwich Connecticut Real Estate Website, and Suffield CT Real Estate Website, which has helped hundreds of people gather information about the CT Real Estate. http://connecticutrealestateadvice.com
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 160
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources