The profession known as “home inspection” has developed to help people understand better what they are buying.
Most houses cannot be inspected in less than two and a half hours. Depending upon the age, condition, and size of the house, the inspection can take considerably longer.
The inspector’s mission should be to figure out what you need to know. You need to know if there is anything about the house that would seriously affect habitability or force you to spend a lot of money you were not planning on. To figure that out, the inspection should concentrate on 8 major items:
- Electrical System
- Heating System
- Water Well System
- Septic System
- Plumbing System
Important secondary building components should also be addressed such as siding, windows, drainage, cooling system, hot water, chimneys, fireplaces, and finishes.
To make these evaluations, the inspector should:
- climb on the roof
- inspect the foundation and structure for movement and decay
- operate the heating equipment
- go into accessible crawlspaces and attics
- remove circuit breaker panel covers to inspect wires
- operate water fixtures
- perform a push test on any septic system or water well system.
The inspection should be documented in a written report discussing noteworthy observations. IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE INSPECTOR’S OBSERVATIONS BE PUT IN PERSPECTIVE BY CLEARLY WRITTEN SUGGESTIONS.
No house is perfect. A professional home inspector can help you distinguish between minor imperfections and major problems. Many houses have components that are significantly better than average. These are also worthy of mention.
It is more likely that your house will not have major problems. However you will gain understanding of what you are buying by attending the inspection. Knowing the construction type, maintenance needs, where things are, and how they work can be invaluable. Be there.