So, congratulations! You just got that first job, or you're getting married, or your first child is on the way, and now you have the resources to buy your first home. You're all stoked for house hunting. You've looked at a number of houses and you have one or two you're serious about. So, what's your next step? (contrary to popular opinion, it's probably not getting down on one knee and placing a ring at the house's entryway).
For most people, this is the time to make an offer on the house. Typically, offers are contingent on being able to sell your current house (if you have one), getting financing (though some people already have that in place up to a certain purchase price), and the house passing inspection.
For people who may be tempted to skip the inspection, or have been led to believe that it isn't important, Lisa Wlodarski of Beans Home Inspections has this to say:
Buying a home is probably one of the most important decisions a person will make. It's one that can have negative consequences if they buy a house that has major problems that a home inspection could have picked up on and didn't because an inspection wasn't done or wasn't done correctly. These consequences can include thousands of dollars more to the buyer than expected, or in worst case scenario, a house that's actually uninhabitable. This is typically why most lenders will insist on a home inspection.
Home inspectors, such as Beans Home Inspections, will inspect a property from roof to foundation and teach their clients about their new home.
Beans Home Inspections will do a thorough inspection that covers:
Roofs: Inspecting roof includes roof coverings (shingles), flashings, skylights, chimneys and roof drainage systems (gutters and downspouts). The roof is the first line of defense against the elements.
Structure: Structure components include foundations, basements and crawlspaces, as well as structural walls, floors, ceilings, entire roof structure and attic. Structure is the “bones” of the house and can have adverse effects on a property if not properly inspected for cracks, failures, moisture infiltration, etc.
Plumbing: Plumbing can have its own share of problems. This is why it is important to check drain, waste and vent systems, water and fuel supply and distribution systems, hot water systems and sump and ejector pumps. Knowing where the main water or fuel shut off is in an emergency is important as well.
Electric: Inspecting the electric system of a home includes service conductors (how electric enters the home), main electric panel and over-current devices, branch circuits, types of wiring, operation of fixtures, GFCI outlets and smoke and CO detectors. Some electric violations can severely impact the property and the safety of its occupants.
Heating /Central Air Conditioning:
The heating/air conditioning system inspection should include the equipment itself, normal and safety controls, chimneys, flues, vents and fireplaces. Just knowing how to change a furnace filter will extend life of unit and save money in the long run.
Proper insulation is the key to maintaining ideal comfort in a home. It can be found in several locations, such as attics, in walls, underneath floors, foundations and ductwork. Where you live (climate) determines the proper types of insulation a home should have.
In addition to these systems, Beans Home Inspections also checks exteriors, interiors, appliances, and garage to ensure a complete assessment of the property.
By hiring a licensed inspector when purchasing a property, a client can be assured their best interests are at the forefront of any inspection. The client can take comfort in knowing a trusted professional, such as Beans Home Inspections, will help them in the home buying process.
Author's note: This article has been written in collaboration with Lisa Wlodarski of Beans Home Inspections. The author, Susie Redfern, is a one-time home buyer (and not a former client of Beans Home Inspections, in the interest of transparency).
The author, Susie Redfern, is the parent of a special needs child (now age 22). She has launched Celebrate Potential Community Connections, a new addition to her long-standing home-business Metro Profiles, which connects people to their communities with community business directories; recreation, school, and child care center/home information; and now customized lists of resources for special needs individuals.
Contact: Susie Redfern, Owner/Director
Metro Profiles-Celebrate Potential Community Connections