Home inspection professionals are trained to spot problems and evaluate a home’s overall condition. Home inspectors will do their best to be ethical and thorough. However, they are also still human, and as a result, sometimes details escape their attention.
If you’re making a significant investment in a home, there’s no reason you have to leave 100% of the inspection up to someone else. There are areas you can review for yourself (or hire an outside party to review).
Before you sign off on a house, don’t neglect to review these commonly overlooked areas:
Roof: Yes, inspectors will consider the roof condition, but they probably won’t be on top of the roof when they do it. This is one area where checking it out yourself or hiring a roofing contractor to take a look can be a significant benefit during negotiations.
Fences: You might not think there’s much to inspect here, but replacing a fence is expensive. What looks sturdy on a sunny day can turn into a giant repair after a storm. This is especially true of wooden fences.
Drains: Fill up tubs and sinks and see how long it takes them to drain. If they’re slow, you’ll want to know why. It could be something as simple as a clog, but better safe than sorry.
Fireplaces: Home inspectors will often give these the once-over, but it is unlikely for them to light a fire. If you can, make sure these operate as expected. Also, find out when the chimney was last cleaned, and how often it was maintained. If the owner had burnt wood in the fireplace or wood-burning stove, no matter what kind of wood, the chimney should be cleaned regularly to prevent a chimney fire. Click here for a video tutorial that shows you the signs of when your chimney is ready to be cleaned and gives instructions on how you can quickly sweep your chimney.
Heating/Cooling: The time of year might impact how thorough an inspector is with the heating and cooling system. Even if it is a hot summer day, don’t forget to run the heater, and vice versa, even if it is a snowy winter evening, run the A/C. Heating and Cooling units are big-ticket items, and you will want to be sure it performs as expected.
Electrical Panel & Outlets: Your inspectors will review the homes electrical, but once again, things may be missed. To be thorough, check each room’s outlets by plugging in a phone charger. Along with this, open up the electrical panel. Is it neat and organized, or is it a tangled mess with disconnected wires?
Pricing is directly tied to a home’s condition, so don’t overlook the opportunity to protect yourself from repair bills. Along with this, problems found in the inspection process can present you with leverage in negotiations.
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