Home Inspections that should be on every homebuyer’s “to do” list
One of the most important contingencies in a purchase contract is the right to investigate and approve the condition of the property. Do your due diligence by having inspections that protect your investment.
It all begins with a professional property inspection by a qualified home inspector. Get referrals from me or go online to look for inspectors who are members of either ASHI or CREIA, the national and state trade associations that maintain professional standards of practice for property inspectors. Don’t try to save money by asking a family friend or handyman to do your inspection--it may end up costing you down the road when defects are discovered after the close of escrow. The property inspection will disclose the general condition of the property by checking all major systems including plumbing, electrical, heating and air systems, roof, appliances & pool. The inspector’s findings may point out the need for secondary inspections by qualified professionals.
A roof inspection is always a good idea and can usually be done by a licensed roofing contractor at no charge. The roofer will check the condition of the roof and inspect all areas that may need preventative maintenance such as ridge caps, valleys, flashings around chimneys, or vent pipes. You will receive an estimate of remaining life and expected costs for repairs or replacement.
Pools and spas are not often given a thorough inspection by the property inspector, and the pool equipment and heater should be checked by a licensed pool contractor or serviceman, especially if the equipment appears old or rusted.
A sewer camera inspection may set you back a couple hundred dollars but is always a good idea if you are buying an older home, or one with large trees on the property. The drain lines in most older homes are clay pipes that can be penetrated by tree roots, causing drain blockages that go undetected until the system backs up.
Masonry fireplaces and chimneys should be cleaned and inspected by a fireplace professional, especially if a build up of creosote or chimney cracks are found. Homeowners often modify a fireplace to make it more decorative not knowing the changes also make it hazardous to use.
Keep in mind these inspections are not meant to create a “to do” list for the seller, but to give you an accurate picture of the property condition so you can budget for future improvements.