What Most Home Inspectors Are Looking For

Whether you are in real estate or you want to sell your home and buy a new one, one thing is for sure. The home selling process is not always a walk in the park! Homebuyers want to make sure they are making a wise investment decision by purchasing your property. They want to ensure they are getting value for their money. This is why they’ll have the home inspected for damage, pests, and functional anomalies by a professional home inspector. As a homebuyer, you would definitely want the same.

In this respect, it is important to know what a home inspector checks for before putting that ‘for sale’ board at your home’s entrance. This will allow you to catch problems that would otherwise drive potential buyers away or affect your asking price at the negotiating table. A quick DIY inspection will allow you to catch immediate issues and have them fixed before listing your property, so it’s more enticing to potential buyers. With this having been said, here are the parts of a home commonly checked by professional home inspectors.


1. Structure and Foundation

Buying a house can be quite an overwhelming and daunting process. It is undoubtedly among the most expensive purchases one can make in a lifetime. As a home buyer, you need to ensure the house you are purchasing is structurally sound before you seal the deal. As a home seller, you want to seal the deal as fast as possible at a desirable price.

But if the foundation has issues, it probably means that the overall framework of the house is poor. Hiring a house inspector will help you determine the integrity of the foundation. He will raise a red flag in case of any underlying issues and give you an expert opinion on the same. He will check foundation footers to ensure they are at the proper depth. He will observe the foundation walls and the soil condition while also checking for cracked and sinking foundation. When selling your home, you don’t want to put it out there with unaddressed foundation issues. They are among the scariest issues to individual home buyers and real estate investors alike.


2. Electrical System

When it comes to buying a house, a mere outside glance can be misleading. Many homebuyers know this and as a home seller, you want to have a home inspector help you identify problems that could be lurking in the property you are about to sell.

Now, the electrical system is another among the parts home inspectors check for. It can cause detrimental destruction, injury, and possibly death in case there are faults. It’s okay to bypass the check if you’re absolutely sure everything is okay, but reinspection is always a plus. The home inspector checks to ensure that the electrical system and appliances are safe and working properly. They will check out for poor wiring, connections, and improper insulation.


3. Plumbing Fixtures

Buying a house can cost a fortune. It will be wise to ensure all the loose ends are tied before making any payments. To be on the safe side, hiring a home inspector is advisable for a more professional plumbing inspection before buying or selling the house. As far as plumbing is concerned, among the things they check include:

  • Leaking or lose faucets
  • Rusty pipes
  • Blocked supply lines
  • Clogged drainage
  • Blocked or leaking toilets
  • Cracked sinks and bathtubs  
  • Dysfunctional water heaters
  • Faulty thermostat


4. Roofing and Walls

By far, the roof makes a giant portion of a home’s value. A home is not a home without a functional, durable, quality roof. With a professional home inspection, roofing problems such as leaks, mold, cracks, and poor drainage, can be noted and corrected before advertising property. The inspector will also check if the walls are moldy or leaking, which can only mean that the house has a lot of trapped moisture and may not be safe for the occupants’ health.


6. Flooring

The floor speaks volumes about the general condition of the house. A house inspector can help single out any problems with the floor, which you might fail to notice or overlook. They will check if there is any mold growth, which could indicate future problems like crumbling, floor cupping, and cracked tiles, among other issues.


7. Doors and Windows

Needless to reiterate, a licensed home inspector has a trained eye for the job. They can pull out tiny problems, some of which you may never notice in a lifetime. As you already know, doors and windows play a key role as a security feature in any house. They are not to be neglected when selling or buying a house. The inspector will check if the locks are working properly, and whether the doors and windows are opening, locking, and closing at ease. He will also check out for any caulking, wood rot or leakage, cracked window panes, missing panels, and damaged screens.


8. Stairs and Rails

Stairs are the number one contributing factor to most injuries (some fatal) in homes. If the owner is not watchful, they are swarmed by myriads of dangers. You need to ensure that your house has some safe stairs to cut down on the risk of staircase injuries. The home inspector will check whether the stairs have quality rails. Some of the things they consider when rating the stairs include:

  • Are the rails thin enough to grasp comfortably?
  • Are the steps slip-proof?
  • Are there any cracked stairs?
  • Is there adequate lighting?
  • Are they too steep?


9. HVAC Systems 

Finally, the home inspector will always check the home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. This means check the HVAC unit itself, as well as its components and other features like the vents, ductwork, air filters, and chimneys. This is because the HVAC system is among the most expensive things to repair or replace in a home. Especially if the house is fitted with central air conditioning, one thing is for sure. No buyer would want to bear the cost of repairing or fixing a damaged system unless the house was really cheap.

In addition to the above, the inspector will also examine various parts of the house to check for pest and insect infestation. These may include the attic, foundation, basement, roof, soffit vents, and even your living room! Now you have an idea of the parts you will want to take a close look at before buying or selling a house with the help of a home inspector.

Next up in this series: Getting the most from your home inspection

More about home inspections