Buying a new house isn’t just any regular investment. It’s a process that involves a great deal of decision-making, and now that you’ve already reached the home inspection stage, the more that you’ll need to pay close attention to a lot of things. Since the home inspection allows you to examine the whole property for any potential issues, it’s better to prepare an extensive checklist to make sure that you don’t miss anything while examining the house.
Hiring The Best Inspector
While a home inspection may be daunting and quite extensive, consider it as an advantage on your part. Inspecting the home before you move in is actually giving you a chance to check if you’ve really made the right decision. In this stage, you may still back out from the negotiation if you find something unacceptable for you as the buyer. To make sure you’ll be able to inspect and assess the property thoroughly, you’ll need a new home building inspector to be by your side.
Your real estate agent or broker may have recommended a few names for an inspector but make sure that the person is qualified enough to handle the job. You can check their qualifications by asking about their past professional experience and whether they’ve completed training to be a home inspector. Ask your friends or family if they’ve hired a home inspector before and if so, check if they can recommend or refer someone.
What Your Checklist Should Look Like
Before you start planning and imagining in your mind how you’ll be decorating your new home, hold your horses for a while and focus first on conducting the home inspection. Your home inspector should be knowledgeable enough to know which areas to check when doing the inspection. However, you can still prepare your own checklist to ensure that everything will be up to par.
Your checklist could include the following:
A new home’s foundation can’t be easily examined if you don’t have enough knowledge about it. Engineers are the most qualified to determine the strength of a new home’s foundation, but your inspection should also be able to examine if there’s something substandard about it. But then, as the new owner, you should also perform an inspection of the foundation to ensure that you won’t encounter any serious problems in the future.
To check the foundation, you can start by walking the exterior perimeter of the house. Foundation walls shouldn’t have leans or bulges that could indicate a lumpy load on them. Look out for any horizontal cracks with sizes that are greater than ¼ inches. Such cracks could indicate stress on the foundation.
The structural integrity of the house may be checked through some common interior issues such as uneven flooring, windows and doors that won’t open or close properly, gaps between the walls and the floor, and also bowed or bulged walls. Although some of these problems may seem minor at the time of inspection, you still need to pay extra attention to them because they may cause potential and more serious problems after you’ve moved in.
The interior may look nice as you’re inspecting every corner of the house, but it doesn’t mean that everything’s good so far. Consult with your home inspector from time to time to ensure that you both agree on several areas that need to be checked.
Checking the plumbing system should also be included in your checklist. You might need a flashlight to do your inspection better. Start with the water meter and determine if the shut-off valve is working properly. Locating the meter and valve also helps if you’ve moved in and you need to make some modifications in the plumbing system, and you have to turn off the water supply. Try shutting off the valve, and when you do, there should be no water coming out from the taps in the bathrooms, kitchen, and other areas of the house. Also, don’t forget to check the water heater of the house, as well. If you have a big family, the heater should be able to accommodate everyone.
The electrical system may be a bit difficult to inspect, but it’s better to understand how it operates and where to find the main switch, as well as the power outlets. Again, the home inspector should be able to tell if the electrical system is problematic or not.
Moving into a new house is a big deal. It’s an exciting new journey, but you shouldn’t let your excitement get in the way of determining whether the property is indeed the right fit for you. Make sure you pay attention when doing the home inspection. Work closely with your inspector to ensure that everything works properly.