You’ve put an offer in on a home and you’re one step closer to becoming a homeowner! The home inspection is a step that is not required in the state of Colorado, but strongly recommended so that you, as a homebuyer, are protecting yourself against having to make costly and unexpected repairs. It also allows you to tweak your budget, so you can afford to make repairs shortly after closing. Here are a few areas you should pay attention to during the home inspection process:
First, know that you, as the homebuyer, are responsible for the home inspection and that it has to be completed within a certain timeframe. There will be a deadline specified in your purchase contract.
Inspections will be conducted by qualified inspectors, hired by you, who are trained to identify issues with the home. They put your safety above all else. If they do detect major problems with your future home, this process could help you save thousands in the long run.
During the inspection, the home inspector will conduct an evaluation of both the structure and mechanical systems in the house. Here are the key areas that the inspector checks and that should be on your radar:
- Possible damage to the foundation or walls: If there are any visible cracks, if the foundation has settled, or if there is any untreated water damage, the inspector will probably recommend a further evaluation by a qualified structural engineer. These issues could potentially cause major problems and are costly to fix.
- The stability and condition of the roof: The inspector often climbs on the roof and determines if all of the shingles are in place, if there is any hail damage, and the roof’s lifespan. Roofs that are in poor condition might cause leaks and water damage. If there are any visible issues, the inspector might recommend that a qualified roofing professional evaluate roof.
- Plumbing issues: The inspector determines whether or not the plumbing is working properly by turning on every faucet and flushing the toilets. If there are any leaks or other issues with the pipes, they should be corrected by a licensed plumbing contractor rather than a basic repair man.
- Problems with the electrical system: The inspector will walk throughout the house and turn on every switch to make sure the electrical system is working properly. If there are any wires visible or if the electrical panel is past its design life, then a professional, licensed electrician should be contacted for any repairs.
- Possible issues with the HVAC system: The inspector will check to see see if the HVAC system is working properly. If it is too old or if it is damaged, the inspector might recommend that it needs to be serviced.
After the inspection, the inspector will create a comprehensive report of the home’s overall condition, which usually included pictures and descriptions of potential problems. This report is typically delivered within 24 hours of completing the inspection. After learning about the condition of your future home, you will negotiate with sellers and reach a consensus on what (if any) repairs will be completed prior to closing.
You should keep in mind that no home is perfect, and remember that a home inspection allows you to proactively address any of the issues the property might have and could save you money.
Written by Anna Linenberger, Scott Futa Home Team Intern