Before a buyer purchases a house, a certified inspector performs a home inspection to uncover any problems or issues with the home. This ensures that the home is safe and up to code and allows the buyer to request monetary assistance from the seller to help cover any necessary repairs or even back out of the contract if the repairs are deemed too extensive. Home inspectors check the same features in a home regardless of where it is located.
Structural and Exterior
Check the outside of the home for any cracks or damage to the walls that may indicate water damage or another structural issue. Inspect the roof for any missing shingles or holes to ensure that water cannot leak into the home. It is also important to check the home's gutters to verify they are installed properly and are not damaged. Thoroughly examine any exterior structures such as a driveway, patio or deck to check for any signs or damage or excessive wear.
Walk the interior of the home and check the walls and floors for any signs of water damage. Also look for any cracks in the walls, ceilings or floors that could indicate a structural problem or lead to further issues. Verify that the windows in the home are not broken or missing any parts and that they open and close without problems. Check all the doors in the home for proper function and any damage. If the home has stairs, check for any damage to the railings and ensure that the railings are secure.
Heating and Cooling
Test the heating and cooling systems to ensure they are functioning properly in all areas of the home. Verify that air filters are installed, clean and not showing any signs of damage.
If the home has a basement, thoroughly examine the space for any signs of water damage such as stains, mildew or odors. Check the walls and ceilings for cracking or other structural damage.
Verify that all of the fixtures in the home are working properly. Also check the drains to make sure there are no blockages or slow-moving drains. Check for any leaks and make sure that all fixtures provide adequate water pressure as well as access to hot water. In the bathrooms, verify that the tile is installed properly around tubs and showers and is not cracking or damaged.
Test all the lights and electrical outlets in the home to make sure they are functioning. Verify that the home has smoke detectors and check that they are not broken. If the home has a doorbell installed, test it to see if it is working.
Verify that the appliances in the kitchen are working properly and do not show any signs of excessive damage. Check all the cabinets in the kitchen for missing hardware or damage, then examine the floors and countertops for damage or cracks.
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