Home inspectors look at the condition of a property and produce a report, assessing whether it is up to current housing codes. They will typically inspect the foundation, basement and structural components; plumbing systems; electrical system; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors and windows; and the heating/cooling system. They may also check for pests, mold and other potentially hazardous substances. However, they are not able to comment on aesthetic issues such as a stained ceiling or wallpaper; these would require specialized evaluations.
Local Home Inspectors: Your Key to Informed Property Decisions
The best way to find a house inspector is through referrals or recommendations from your real estate agent or broker. You could also do an online search or use a database provided by the American Society of Home Inspectors. It is important that you hire someone who is licensed and insured.
Unless you are buying a new construction condo, you should get a home inspection before finalizing your purchase. Even new homes can be plagued with problems, from leaking roofs to vermin infestations. In addition, many homeowners do renovations prior to putting their homes on the market, and these renovations can cut corners or fail to meet building codes.
While you don’t have to be present during a home inspection, it may be helpful. Attending the inspection gives you a chance to hear comments that wouldn’t make it into the written report, and you can ask spur-of-the-moment questions. This will give you more buying power when it comes time to negotiate with the seller.