Real Estate 101: Home Inspections
Buying a home is often the largest investment you’ll ever make which is why it’s crucial to learn everything you can about the home before you sign the closing documents. Can you imagine spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on the home of your dreams only to have the roof begin leaking a week after closing? A home inspection can identify major red flags that could influence your decision to buy the home such as the need for costly repairs, builder oversights, and unsafe living conditions, as well as smaller things that can be negotiated and fixed before closing like routine system and appliance maintenance.

Q: What do standard home inspections typically cover?

A: Home inspections can vary from state-to-state. Most evaluate things like heating and air conditioning systems, plumbing, electrical systems, the roof, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, structural components, and major appliances.

Q: Are inspections only for homes going through a real estate transaction?

A: No! If you’re lucky enough to already be living in the home of your dreams, a home inspection can be a great tool to identify problems in the making and suggest preventive measures that might help you avoid costly future repairs. If you’re still looking for your dream home and are considering selling your house, a home inspection can give you the opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition... and possibly get you a higher price!

Q: Should I get a home inspection for a new construction home?

A: It's always to good choice to get a home inspection. Many home-buyers think new homes are problem free, but that simply isn’t the case. New homes can have defects in the materials, installation of systems and appliances, or in the construction itself. In the end, it’s always best to err on the side of caution before making such a large purchase.

Q: Are home inspections fool-proof?

A: Unfortunately, no. For example, the inspector may not be able to identify potential air conditioning issues if they're checking the AC in extreme cold weather, and vice versa for checking the heater in the midst of a blistering heatwave. It might also be difficult to detect a faulty appliance since they commonly only run them through one cycle to determine major flaws. That’s why it’s a good idea to mitigate the risk of being stuck with a huge bill for a system or appliance breakdown after closing with a home warranty. Learn more about how a home warranty works and what it covers.