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Why You Should Have A Home Inspection Before Closing

The offer on the home you made was accepted, hooray!  But before you close the deal and start packing up your belongings, you might want to consider hiring a home inspector to check everything out first.  A home might look like it’s in great condition, but you never know what major flaws could be lurking out of sight.

You might be wondering, well what does a home inspector do, exactly?  Home inspectors have over 1500 items that they are supposed to check for.  If you have a home inspection contingency in your offer, anything that they find can be negotiated into the final agreement, whether that means the seller fixing the problem or lowering the price.  If the problem ends up being more than you want to take on, you can walk away from the deal with your deposit.   Keep reading to learn why you should have a home inspection before closing, and click this link to read the full article.

What does a home inspector look for?

Inspectors run down a checklist of potential problems. While we won’t list all 1,600, here’s the boiled-down version:

  • Grounds: Inspectors are looking for current or future water issues such as standing puddles and faulty grading or downspouts. They check out landscaping to see if trees and shrubs are in good condition (an arborist will give you a more detailed assessment); and evaluate pathways, retaining walls, sheds, and railings.

  • Structure: Is the house foundation solid? Are the sides straight? Are the window and door frames square? This part of the inspection is particularly important when you’re considering buying an older home.

  • Roof: The inspector’s looking for defects in shingles, flashing, and fascia, all of which can cause ceiling drips; loose gutters; and defects in chimneys and skylights.

  • Exterior: The inspector will look for siding cracks, rot, or decay; cracking or flaking masonry; cracks in stucco; dents or bowing in vinyl; blistering or flaking paint; and adequate clearing between siding and earth, which should be a minimum of 6 inches to avoid damage from moisture (although dirt can be in contact with the cement foundation).

  • Window, doors, trim: If you want to keep heat in, cold out, and energy bills low, windows and doors must be in good working condition. The inspector will see if frames are secure and without rot, caulking is solid and secure, and glass is undamaged.

  • Interior rooms: Inspectors are concerned about leaning walls that indicate faulty framing; stained ceilings that could point to water problems; adequate insulation behind the walls; and insufficient heating vents that could make a room cold and drafty.

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