Ask An Agent: Home Inspections

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Welcome to our new Monday segment on the Shorewest blog — Ask an Agent. If you have any real estate questions you want answered, email us at [email protected] and we’ll feature your answer on an upcoming blog post.

Question: What does a home inspection cover?

Home inspections check the safety of your potential new home. Inspectors focus especially on the structure, construction and mechanical systems of the house and will give you better insight into the interior of your house. Here are the basic elements that your home inspector will check.

  • Structure. The “bones” of the house, it impacts how the property stands up to weather, gravity and the earth. Structural components include the foundation and framing of the home.
  • Exterior. A home inspector looks at windows and doors, siding, driveways, sidewalks and other flat paving (patios) and attached porches and balconies. Surface drainage is also inspected with the exterior of the home.
  • Interior. The inside of the home can reveal huge issues such as leaks, insect damage, rot, mold, construction damage and other issues. Inspectors will look at walls, ceilings and floors; steps stairways and railings; countertops, and cabinets; garage doors and their systems.
  • Roofing. One of the most important parts of a home, a well-maintained roof protects the rest of your house from the elements. Take note of the roof’s age, conditions of flashing, draining solutions including gutters and downspouts plus skylights or chimneys if they are included with the house.
  • Plumbing. Home inspectors look at the water supply, drainage systems including sump pumps, water heaters and fuel storage systems. Some things that you can identify that may indicate problems include poor water pressure, banging pipes, rust spots or corrosion.
  • Electrical. Electrical safety is determined by observing service entrance wires, service panels, circuit breakers and fuse boxes as well as disconnects. As a buyer, it’s also important to note the number of outlets in each room.
  • Heating. A home’s heating system, vent system, fireplaces, flues and chimneys are all inspected for heat. The water heater may also be looked at with the heating system.
  • Air conditioning. Does the home have air conditioning or the wiring to acquire it? The cooling system, its energy source and possibilities for central or wall cooling equipment will be noted here.
  • Insulation. To prevent energy loss, insulation and ventilation in unfinished areas such as attics and crawlspaces are inspected. Proper, secure wall insulation that is appropriate for the climate will be checked as well.

A quality home inspector will judge the home and bring back detailed reports, but you may want to attend the inspection as well. A home inspector should be able to answer questions about the report and any problem areas and has a good objective eye for overall maintenance questions. Your Shorewest real estate agent will help guide you through the home inspection process, so call a local Shorewest agent today if you’re looking to buy or sell.

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Categories: Home Buying, Home Selling

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