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Buying a Simgle Family Home – 5 Key Things to Look for at a Home Inspection

Buying a Home – 5 Key Things to Look for at a Home Inspection


I always recommend to buyers that they get a home inspection prior to purchasing a single family home, or any home. Eliminating surprises later is key to keeping down your costs of owning a home.

Note that you want to get a great home inspector and listen to them closely. What I tell you here is from my many years of experience of my buyers doing home inspections, only. My expertise is selling homes, not in home inspections; home inspectors are experts in home inspection. I can refer you to one, if that is helpful, as well.

Checklist from the Real Estate Inspection Report

Here are 5 key things to look for at a home inspection:

1. Roof – What is its approximate age / how much life does it have left? Replacing a roof is one of the most expensive items on a house. Are there any obvious exterior holes or wear that might let water get into the house? Are there any signs of water on the underside of the roof, inside the house, that might indicate water has gotten inside? Look in the attic if there is one and it is accessible.

2. Drainage from the house. Is the soil at the foundation tapered / graded away from the house to allow for drainage? Are the gutters in great condition with no leaks and are they free of debris, such as leaves and twigs? Are the downspouts in great condition and lead the water well away from the house’s foundation? A simple curve that might be 6 inches at the bottom of the downspouts is not enough. An extension should be added to that piece. You might see a splash block at the bottom instead of an extension. I do not consider this acceptable to do the work, especially in a heavy downpour – and our area gets them.

3. Mechanicals. How much life is left on the HVAC and hot water heater? Typically, 15 years has been considered their general life span. Replacing an HVAC system is fairly expensive; a hot water heater replacement is much less, though still spendy. Consider the total costs of replacing, including installation cost. It adds up.

4. Foundation. Is it in great condition? It supports the house. When in question, have a structural engineer take a look at it. I can refer you to a great one, if you need it.

5. Overall condition of the house. Does it appear that the owners (and past owners) have taken great, consistent care of it? Do the current owners have an “operating manual” for the house? Are there records? I recommend to my sellers that they supply to buyers any records, details and any warranties on items in the home.

I hope these 5 key things to look for at a home Inspection was helpful to you. Please let me know if you have any questions.



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