Having a home inspection contingency in your purchase offer on a home lets you back out of the deal if your inspector finds potential problems with the home. Hiring a professional home inspector could save you from purchasing a surprise “fixer-upper” home.
A home inspector considers many factors to ensure you are buying your perfect home:
What your home inspector should evaluate
A home inspector should examine the outside of your potential home for flaws and dangers with the:
- Exterior walls and foundation: Cracks, sliding or missing bricks could cause serious problems to a home’s foundation. Broken or leaky gutters and downspouts can loosen the soil below and let water flood into the basement.
- Roof: If your inspector finds dark spots or moss on the roof then you may need to replace the roof. Missing shingles or tiles could mean a history of leaking into the attic or top floor.
- Windows and doors: Outdated windows could increase heating bills. While breaks or misaligned windows would allow moisture in allowing mold to grow. Misaligned doors could cause insects or rodents to find their way into the home.
Your home inspector should also not skip the inside inspection. They need to examine the:
- Plumbing: Leaks in plumbing or weak water pressure could mean replacing the plumbing. An unkept sewer drain or sump pump may back up from heavy rain. Overhauling the plumbing system is expensive in the long run.
- Electric: Homeowners may think it is best to fix electrical problems themselves and ultimately cause additional hazards. Loose wires can result in fires or electric shocks.
- Attic and basement: Your inspector may find strange smells in the attic or basement. This could be the result of rotting foundations, sewer leaks or dead rodents. There might even be a lingering cat smell if the previous owner had many cats.
Your home inspector may uncover major or minor flaws in your potential home. You can ask the current homeowner to repair these flaws before the sale or ask for a lower price as part of your negotiations. An experienced legal eye can help determine which option works best for you.