Residential Window Installation

What Should You Inspect Before Buying a Home?

in Real Estate

Buying a home is a major investment, but one that allows you to live comfortably in a place that you can truly call your own. For some families, the dream of homeownership can turn into a nightmare when they find out their new home is in serious disrepair.

Inspections can help save you from having to pay thousands of dollars in repairs after buying a home.

Every buyer should have their potential home inspected by a home inspector, but you may have to call in other specialists to check potential problem areas.

Types of Specialty Home Inspections

If an inspector spots something unusual that is out of the scope of their expertise, they will refer you to a specialist.

Specialized inspections might include:

Electrical

If the inspector finds something off with the home’s electrical system, an electrician can be called in to help. Maybe the electrical box is so old that it does not comply with city code. An electrician can recommend brands to replace the box and tell you how much it will cost.

Pests

Wood-destroying pests, like termites, can be found in just about any part of the country, but they’re most common in warm climates.

If an inspector finds signs of pest damage, he or she will refer you to a specialist who will perform a pest inspection.

A specialized pest inspection will disclose the presence of termites as well as powder post beetles and dry rot.

HVAC

When inspectors find something amiss with a home’s heating and cooling system, a specialist will be brought in. The furnaces in most homes can be taken apart to figure out what’s wrong with the system.

An HVAC specialist will not only tell you what’s wrong but also tell you how much it will cost to fix it and whether you’re better off getting the system replaced.

Chimney

A chimney inspector may be called in if the home’s chimney doesn’t have flue liners, or if the brick inside of the chimney is crumbling.

An inspector will also make sure that the smoke will discharge properly.

Sewer and Septic System

A home’s sewer and septic system must be working properly for a home sale to go through. Sewer problems can be expensive to fix, but a simple sewer camera inspection can help pinpoint the issue.

A specialist will insert a digital camera into the sewer line, and push it through the main line. Many inspectors will record the footage so you can see where and what the problem is.

Roof

Some sellers will not pay for a roof certification if the roof is older. If they don’t, get one yourself. Choose a reputable company when looking for an inspector, and do not choose a company that also offers roof repair. The conflict of interest may make the inspector biased, and you may wind up making repairs you didn’t necessarily need to make.

Foundation

A home inspector can tell you what type of foundation your home is built on, but a foundation engineer can tell you if the foundation is faulty or if the home is sliding.

If the inspector notices something awry with the foundation, an engineer will be called in to pinpoint the problem.

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