What to Expect From a Home Inspection

Home inspection is a critical step in the home buying process. It allows you to understand the condition of a property and negotiate with the seller on repairs or renegotiating the sales price. It also gives you peace of mind, knowing that you’re not purchasing a money pit. A good home inspector will be able to spot serious problems, such as a cracked foundation, moldy basement or missing shingles. If the inspector finds a problem, it’s a good idea to get a second opinion from another certified professional. If the problem is major, you can use it to cancel the sale or at least renegotiate the price.

The home inspector’s report will cover the condition of the home’s heating and air conditioning system; interior plumbing, including toilets, sinks and showers; electrical system, including the breaker box and visible wiring; walls, ceilings, floors and windows; and the roof and attic. The report will also note the age and condition of the home’s components, and whether they are functioning properly. The inspector will also check the home’s insulation, and make sure there is adequate clearance between the siding and ground, and that there are no signs of moisture intrusion in the basement or crawl space.

If a home is full of furniture and boxes, the inspector may not be able to inspect as much of the property as if it were vacant. The inspector may have to climb in closets, open cabinets and enter crawl spaces to assess the condition of these areas. In addition, if the home is a foreclosure or short sale, the lender may have already removed most of the items from the property. In these cases, the inspector will report what he or she was able to see.

Typically, the home inspector will not tell you how much the house is worth or provide estimated repair costs. This information can be obtained from a real estate appraiser or a contractor.

If the inspector recommends additional testing, such as a radon test or a termite inspection, you will need to pay for those services separately. The home inspector should be able to provide you with a list of qualified service providers.

To find a good home inspector, ask your agent for recommendations and look in the local phone directory. You can also check out online reviews, and ask for a sample inspection report. The report should be clear and thorough, with images of any deficiencies. Also, make sure the inspector is licensed and certified by your state’s governing body. If you’re not happy with the results of your home inspection, you can ask for a refund or to cancel the contract, as long as it’s within the time frame allowed by your state’s law. If you decide to cancel, be prepared to reschedule the inspection for another date. This will give you time to shop around for a new inspector and get the best deal on your next home.