What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is a very important tool available to potential home buyers. As lenders use credit reports, a home buyer should use a home inspection.  The purchase of a home will be the most important financial decision many people will make in their lifetime. In most cases, the home buyer is not familiar enough with all aspects of the home, and that could lead to thousands of dollars be spent on major defects that could of been identified prior to purchase. In addition, identified defects can be an effective bargaining tool for the final price of the home.

A home inspection is not invasive. Therefore, the inspector cannot see through walls, and is not required to disassemble or move items. The inspector must put his safety first above all. With that being said, every major system of the home will be inspected that can be inspected. Electrical, Plumbing, Framing and Structure, Roof and Exterior, Heating and Cooling, Insulation and Site Drainage. Driveways, Walkways, Decks, Doors, Windows, Cabinets, Floors, Appliances and Porches will also be checked. All systems will be checked for proper operation and it will be noted if that system is working poorly or in an unsafe condition. Please note, the inspector is not a code inspector, they do not get paid by the city or county.

A home inspection can be a key factor in your final decision. The life expectancy of major systems and appliance can also be determined in an inspection. For example, the life expectancy of a central air conditioning unit is between 7 to 15 years. If the unit is more than 15 years old, that item itself could pose a great insight to the condition of the rest of the home. Is the furnace as old, what else is at the end of its  life cycle? You could possibly spend thousands of dollars replacing those items in the first few years of home ownership.

A home inspection is a MUST if you’re buying a home from out of state. The inspector should provide you with plenty of photos and possibly even video of the property. Items such as paint colors, paneling  and carpeting will be overlooked by the inspector. Those are items of personal taste, and not of concern to the overall function of the home and its subsystems. With those photos, you should be able to consult and interior designer or landscaping professional if so needed.

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