05 Sep Home Inspections Made Easy
Once you have made an offer on a home and are in your options period, it is time to begin the home inspection process. Speak to your Realtor to see if there is an inspector that they use often and trust. If not, do your own research to find the best licensed home inspector you can to look over the house with a magnifying glass. You can always call Fairway Independent Mortgage of the Carolinas for the names of our favorite inspectors as well.
Even though sellers should disclose all known defects of the property, a thorough, professional, home inspection should be completed. It removes any questions about the condition of your new home. The inspection process usually takes two to three hours, during which time the house and the property are examined from the ground up. It covers more than 1,000 items including observation and, when appropriate, operation of the plumbing, heating, air conditioning, electrical, and appliance systems, as well as structural components, such as the roof, foundation, basement, exterior and interior walls, chimney, doors and windows.
Further, if you want the offer to become null and void if an inspection turns up major structural damage, make sure that is a clear contingency in the purchase contract. While some sellers do not correct every defect in the inspection report, they may acknowledge the defects and explain that the asking price has been adjusted to reflect the estimated cost of repairs. Even if you are looking into purchasing a newly constructed home, it is important to have a home inspection completed. Talk to your agent, family, and friends to understand and discuss your concerns, types of defects, and what is most important to you.
Curious about what things you can look at yourself before the official home inspection? Here are some tips and checklist items to keep an eye out for when looking at homes:
- Structural Elements: Look at the base of the walls and the ceilings in each room. Are there obvious cracks or apparent shifts in the foundation? Do the same around the outside. Are there any trees encroaching on the foundation? Construction of walls, ceilings, floors, roof and foundation.
- Exterior Evaluation: Does the house look like it will need repairs or repainting soon? Are gutters and downspouts firmly attached? Are there loose boards? Dangling wires? Does the drainage appear to be away from the house? Any obvious soggy areas? Wall covering, landscaping, grading, elevation, drainage, driveways, fences, sidewalks, fascia, trim, doors, windows, lights and exterior receptacles.
- Roof and Attic: What is the overall condition? When was it last replaced? Are there any trees encroaching on it? Are there any signs of leaking? Framing, ventilation, type of roof construction, flashing and gutters. It does not include a guarantee of roof condition nor a roof certification.
- Plumbing: Any unusual noises or malfunctions? Identification of pipe materials used for potable, drain, waste and vent pipes. including condition. Toilets, showers, sinks, faucets and traps. It does not include a sewer inspection.
- Systems and Components: Does it seem to do the job? How old is the furnace? Water heaters, furnaces, air conditioning, duct work, chimney, fireplace and sprinklers.
- Electrical: Do the switches work? Are there any obvious malfunctions? Main panel, circuit breakers, types of wiring, grounding, exhaust fans, receptacles, ceiling fans and light fixtures.
- Appliances: If these are included, what is the age and condition of the stove, dishwasher, refrigerator? Dishwasher, range and oven, built-in microwaves, garbage disposal and, yes, even smoke detectors.
- Garage. Slab, walls, ceiling, vents, entry, firewall, garage door, openers, lights, receptacles, exterior, windows and roof.
- Basement: Is there dampness? Adequate insulation? (If there’s a crawlspace instead of a basement, you might want to leave this for the professional home inspection.)
Inspections are a great way to ensure that everyone is happy with the deal that has been made and that all parties, including the bank, are happy with the final price of the home. With stabilizing home mortgage loan interest rates, right now is one of the best times to consider all of your home buying or selling options. Whether you are buying a new home or looking to refinance your current home, you can trust Fairway Independent Mortgage of the Carolinas to make your home loan as stress-free as possible. To learn more about how inspections are conducted or to understand the lending process, call one of our four offices today to get started or schedule an appointment with you to really look at your financial plans and help you make the best home loan decision or show you how the path toward ownership. Call us anytime.