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Hiring a home inspector is a key step to buying a home. But what needs to be included in a thorough home inspection? Here’s a quick overview.

When you finally find a home that you can’t wait to call your own, you may be tempted to skip a few steps in order to move in. However, most real estate agents will tell you to do your due diligence. Specifically, it’s very important that you get a home inspection before you fully commit to the home. This could save you a lot of heartache and money if there is something wrong with the home. You can just cut your losses and move on, instead of finding these problems after you buy it.

So, what should be included in your home inspection? Your home inspector will look closely at the following:

  • Roofing
  • Exterior
  • Structure
  • Electrical
  • Heating
  • Cooling
  • Insulation
  • Plumbing
  • Interior

What’s included in the report

A good home inspection should include a detailed report on each one of the components above. It should list (with supporting pictures) any issues that the home inspector finds, along with comments and the level of urgency each item requires. A home inspector should review the report fully with you verbally, and provide you with a digital or hard copy for reference (which can come in handy if you do decide to proceed and need to schedule work to be done).

Tips for hiring a home inspector

  • Your real estate agent can probably recommend someone do perform a home inspection. Alternatively you can find many companies online. Make sure you vet them through references and/or reviews, and review with them fully what your expectations are. For example, how are they going to inspect the roof? Visually from the ground or will they bring a ladder and go up there?
  • Make sure you schedule you home inspection (if you can) on a clear day, with no rain or snow. Snow, in particular can prevent a home inspector from examining your roof thoroughly.
  • Discuss what elements will be excluded from the report (such as pools/spas, security networks, telephone/network systems, air quality) or
  • Be aware that even a thorough home inspection is not “technically exhaustive”.  A home inspection is an opinion of the present condition of the visible components. A home inspector’s report provides you with an overview of the condition of the property. Some conditions noted, such as foundation cracks or other signs of settling in a house, may be cosmetic or may indicate a potential problem that is beyond the scope of a home inspector. A home inspector will report on what they see, but it is the home buyer’s responsibility to determine what risks they are willing to take based on this information.

If you’re ready to start your journey to home ownership and need an experienced real estate lawyer, contact us.


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