Inspections and Checks that Should be Carried Out Before Buying a Home

by Wren on February 19, 2013

If you’re buying a home, hiring a licensed home inspector can mean great savings at closing time. A home inspector can find small defects that you would overlook—finding them before you sign on the dotted line can mean a reduced price or an agreement that the seller will pay for the repairs.  When your inspection is being performed, you should accompany the inspector; it’s a great time to learn more about your new home. Below are some of the checks that should be done, and what the inspector should look for.

Exterior

Advanced roof wear is readily visible, but a roof that’s just beginning to age will escape the notice of an untrained eye. Refurbishing a roof can cost thousands, and it can cost a lot more if the underlayment needs to be taken up beforehand. If the roof is in need of refurbishment, you can use that need as a negotiation point with your seller. You should also have the inspector look at the home’s siding and UPVC windows; any replacements here will also cost a significant amount. The engineer/inspector should also look at the grading of the land around your home to ensure that drainage is adequate.

Interior

There are a lot of things which can go wrong with a home’s interior, and one of the worst is a flood-prone basement. Your home’s basement should be completely inspected for signs of water damage such as mildew, stains, a musty/damp odor, warped flooring and mold. Check to see if there are waterproofing systems or sump pumps present—they can reduce the risk of flooding greatly. If your new home requires a waterproofing system, it will add thousands to your final price.

Your new home’s ventilation and insulation should not be overlooked, either. Inadequate ventilation can result in faster roof deterioration, and your home’s paint should be checked as well. If it was built before 1978, it may have lead paint which can cause issues as it deteriorates.

Structural

Your home inspector should be on the lookout for deflections, bulges and other inconsistencies in the roof, interior and wall framing; cracks in the foundation can be indicative of a serious problem. Damage from poor design, substandard construction, or from water or termite damage can be a major repair expense—especially if the repair process requires the jacking up of the entire house.

Electrical

The inspector should begin by determining if your new home’s electrical system is up to date and up to code; upgrades here can cost a thousand dollars or more. They should look for problems like burned wires, poor connections, bad installation and panel openings. Ask that your inspector check for a sufficient quantity of outlets and switches in the home, and that the condition of those outlets be checked. If your home was wired in the 60s or 70s, it may have aluminum wiring, which can cause a fire hazard if it’s not properly retrofitted.

About Author: This post was written by Crispin Jones on behalf of Stormclad – Nottingham’s experts in UPVC windows and conservatories.

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