Important Inspections to Conduct Before Moving In
Purchasing a new home is an exciting milestone, but it’s important to not celebrate too quickly. You need to undergo a thorough home inspection with a certified home inspector before closing on a new home. A home inspection is the last opportunity you have as a buyer to discover any structural defects or serious damage that need to be addressed before closing.
Home inspectors do a thorough walkthrough of the property, both inside and out, to evaluate its condition. Any issues with the home’s major components and systems, as well as structure, can be used as a negotiating tool with the seller. There are several inspections that you should do for peace of mind that you should proceed with the purchase.
The HVAC System
A major home system that should be inspected is the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system. An inspector will look to see if the system is functional, but won’t be able to guarantee it will continue to function after you move in. The lifespan and reliable performance of an HVAC system depend on routine maintenance and depending on the age of the home, it’s not always easy to know the system’s maintenance history. An inspector will be able to say home long the air conditioning condenser is expected to last by checking the serial number.
The Plumbing System
Your plumbing system works hard and when not functioning well, could cause serious damage to your home. Plumbing problems can damage the foundation, but it’s not always easy to detect issues hidden behind the walls. An inspector can perform a video camera inspection beneath the surface to assess the water heater, fixtures and faucets, sump pumps, sewage ejectors, and your drainage system.
The best way to ensure you have an efficient plumbing system is to have a professional plumber perform a regular inspection twice a year. There are several benefits of plumbing inspection. First of all, your plumbing system will have a longer lifespan. A regular inspection ensures there are no recurring clogs, blockages, or debris that interfere with water flow. Also, checking the condition of your pipes is the best way to catch leaks or cracks in plumbing lines that can result in high water bills. Regular plumbing inspections reduce the risk of future plumbing problems and emergencies, saving you time and money in the long run.
The Roof and Foundation
The roof keeps your home dry and protected from the elements. Roofing problems are a big reason why homeowners make insurance claims. Before closing on a new home, you need to have a home inspector assess the roof. You should find out from the seller how old the roof is, its maintenance history, and whether or not there’s a roof warranty that will transfer with the sale of the home. An inspector will assess the roof, the chimney, and roof penetrations such as skylights. Any signs of damage to the chimney lining, faults in the masonry, or corrosion need to be addressed.
The foundation of any home can withstand damage, whether it’s cracks, leaks, or shifting. You need to have an inspector ensure the foundation is stable and free of damage. Bringing a home’s foundation up to code is expensive, which is a huge price negotiation point.
It’s common for the home buyer to pay for a home inspection, but there are instances in which the seller offers to pay. The best way to find a certified home inspector is to ask your real estate agent. You can also do your own research using search tools on the American Society of Home Inspectors or International Association of Certified Home Inspectors websites.
You can use the outcome of the home inspection report to determine your next steps. A home in good condition in need of minor fixes is a smart purchase decision. If the home has major issues, you should consider whether it’s worth purchasing based on how severe the issues are.