Always get a home inspection, even with new construction. It’s an opportunity to spend an extended period of time in your new prospective house, exploring every nook, cranny, closet and attic. You get to turn on all the faucets and run each of the showers. You get to test all the appliances and even peel back a corner of the wall-to-wall carpet to see if there is hardwood underneath. Inspections cost between $150 and $650 depending on the size of the home and are worth every dollar.
Home Inspections include:
√ Water Heaters
They should take a minimum of 3 hours to complete, but they don’t cover everything and don’t guarantee to catch everything.
Home inspectors are very careful not to take on liability for issues that are outside their area of expertise. They are like general practice physicians, sometimes they will recommend you seek the advice of a specialist for:
• Geological surveys
Ask your inspector if they are certified to inspect the roof. Some inspectors are not, and you will need to call in a roof specialist to climb up there.
If your inspector sees signs of any foundation issues, including doors that don’t close properly, cracks in walls or flooring, or windows that stick or won’t close completely, they will likely recommend having a foundation specialist inspect the property further.
Especially important for hillside and cliffside properties, or in flood areas, a geological inspection can unearth a severe drainage or ground-shifting problem—and save you thousands from further damage.
In most cases a pest inspection report is required as part of a real estate transaction. A seller may agree to complete certain types of recommendations and in many transactions a certification that the property is free and clear of wood destroying organisms is issued.
While your general inspector may tell whether or not things are “ flowing,” a sewer expert can use a sewer cam to discover any cracks or breaks in the sewer line from the house to the street. On properties that are heavily landscaped, where root growth can crack and clog the pipeline, this can be a serious expense, so find out if there are any issues now.
Moisture, Mold, and Toxins
It’s important to check for moisture in any basement or below-ground-level areas. Moisture is an indicator of the potential for a mold problem.
You need this if the house was built prior to 1975. You may find it on insulation around ducting, water heaters, and pipes. If it is accessible and can be removed by an asbestos specialist, then this may be something you might want to ask the seller to do.
Some buyers assume the home inspection covers the pool, but it’s rare when it does. Even if they offer pool inspections, many home inspectors do not have the required expertise to evaluate a pool. In fact, most home inspection reports include a disclaimer covering the pool. So do yourself a favor, and get a pool specialist involved.
Home inspections usually do not cover solar panels which will need a specialized assessment.
Your regular inspector may not do this, but if there is any question about stability or hints of structural damage, have a chimney specialist do a “chimney cam” and run a small video camera down the chimney to see it from the inside.
When in doubt, get an inspection!