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Do not buy a house until an inspection is done. Just like any other investment, buying a home can be very risky. The only way you can reduce that risk is by performing a thorough home inspection, just like the way you would do an inspection of a company’s financial position or product market before investing in it. People who fail to do a thorough home inspection or hire a profession to do it for them incur a great deal of money on repairs and unnecessary installations.
A home is not just how it appears on the outside; it consists of many complex components like framing, electrical, plumbing, heating and conditioning system and many more. These components may have issues that require consideration outside the scope of average consumer knowledge. It is for this reason hiring an expert to do an inspection for you may be a good idea. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it yourself, and sometimes home inspectors overlook some of these issues.
Below are 10 tips that can guide you do a thorough home inspection before buying and if you follow them you will be glad you did!
1. Inspect the basement
The basement should be your first place to do a careful examination to ensure that the house is at par. Check for any evidence of moisture problems. Signs of dumps or musty odor throughout the basement indicate moisture problems. A house with leaking around a foundation is not at par, and this should give you a warning signs. You can also inspect the plumbing system at the basement to ensure it's in its proper working order.
2. Take a thorough inspection on the Exterior.
Inspecting the exterior part of the house is very important. Examine whether shingles are in good condition and make sure they are present. Gutters and downspouts should also be carefully examined to make sure that the house has an adequate drainage system. A good house should have no signs of drainage issues. Check the walkways and driveways of the property and look for any signs of cracking or crumbling. From a far distance examine the design of the house and ensure that the home sides are fine and in good repair. Also check on the landscape, trees, shrubbery and other plants and make sure they are in good conditions.
3. Electrical system
Are all the switches working? Can you see obvious malfunctions? What about the outlet, Are they okay and sufficient? The panel should be updated and expandable for possible additional appliances or for remodeling purposes. If you are purchasing an older home, there is a possibility that they do not have an electrical system that is up to the current codes. Do not overlook this issue and talk to your agent about that issue. You may need to seek the help of an expert to check on some of the technical issues you notice. The HVAC system especially is very important that an expert examines them and any possible electrical problem.
4. If you can inspect the roof yourself and the Attic.
The attic can provide valuable information about the possible drainage problem in the house. If you can, check the attic and assess the area yourself. You shouldn’t see any kind of water leakages or damages at the ceiling or the wall of the attic. The type of roof construction should also give you an idea of the kind of house you are about to buy.
5. Plumbing systems matter a lot
Look for evidence of leakages in the bathrooms and kitchens. If you notice sagging floor, mildew or water stains on plumbing area, then this indicates water leaks. Access the water pressure in the toilets, sinks, and tubs. Any unusual noises or malfunctions should also not be overlooked. The type of pipes and the material used in the system is also very important since some pipes usually contaminate water with lead. Your inspector should help you with that. A malfunction plumbing system can cause serious problems like health problems or perhaps very irritating minor problems.
6. Garage or carport
Test the opening and closing of the garage door, it should have proper ventilation to prevent possible carbon monoxide poisoning. You should also check the garage framing and ensure it is visible. If you find the water heater in the garage, check whether it is installed high enough to minimize the risk of explosion from any gasoline fumes that can mingle with the heaters’ frame.
7. Check on kitchen appliances
Appliances are not built to last for long, but they can if maintained properly. The cost of replacing them can be very substantial and therefore not be ignored. Sometimes your inspector may check on kitchen appliances, but in most cases it’s not part of the inspection. Be sure to check information on their year of purchase, their brands and model to ensure to get a clear picture of what you are buying and the cost involved when replacing them.
8. Pull the carpet back
Molds and mildew can be found under carpets, so before you buy the houses look on the lower side of the room. You will also need to examine the type of floor and their condition.
9. Light the fire in the Fireplace.
Lighting the fire will give you a clue about the condition of the chimney. You can also examine the mortar to ensure that it’s not loose or crumbling. Check for other problems like damaged dampers, dirty chimneys, defective gaskets or missing spark arrester usually at the top.
10. Open all windows and doors
There is no fun in replacing windows or doors, and it isn’t cheaper either. So to make sure they are in proper working condition, open each and every of then and find out if they stick, are stuck or just old that they won’t open. Close them to make sure they o close properly.
These general tips are there to guide you; they aren’t meant to make you reject a house if you see any defects. In a purchasing offer, you can find a contingency clause that identifies what to repaired or corrected before the sale is finalized. The seller can also be able to lower the purchasing price based on the cost that is going to be incurred when correcting the defects seen. All in all, what is important to you is getting a home that is at par, so evaluate all the defects and see whether your potential home is worth it.
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