What You Need to Know About the Home Inspection

What You Need to Know About the Home Inspection

It seems kind of obvious.

I mean what does a home inspector do… well um…
he inspects the house before you buy it.


Typically they mostly do a visual inspection of the interior and exterior of the home including the roof, crawl space and attic.

Looking for any issues, insect damage, proper construction, or visible structural issue.

So what do you need to know…

1. They can’t find everything and they are human.

Don’t rely on the inspector alone to go over the property. They are experts at what they do and most are really good at what they do. But everyone makes mistakes and a home inspection mistake and can cost you a ton of money in the long run.

2. Be present at the inspection.

If at all possible, be present for the inspection. If you did your homework and have an awesome Real Estate broker who takes their fiduciary duty serious and you have done your homework on the inspector, and you still can’t find a way to make it, it should be okay. But I would do everything possible you can to attend the inspection and talk with the inspector.

3. Do your own inspection.

I still think you should hire a home inspector. But like I said above they are people and even the best of us make a mistake and miss things. Look around, ask questions. While it might seem like youare bothering the home inspector, your not. He’s there to work for you. If you think there is an issue bring it up.

Some common things to look for are…

Drainage: Especially in the Pacific Northwest. You want want positive drainage away from the house, if possible, and drains in the right places. Look out for soggy areas or areas that look like they stay wet.

Exterior of the home: When was the last time it was caulked or painted? What condition is the siding in? Does there appear to be any major repairs needed?

Interior: Any evidence of leaks or discoloration. When was the last time the inside was painted? Any major repairs need to be done soon. Take a little time and really look around.

Heating: How old is the furnace. Has it been serviced?

This of course isn’t an exhaustive list. I mostly recommend, when buying a home, you take a little time to look really look around. Sometimes it seems people spend more time test driving their car then looking at the home they are about to purchase.

4. Review the inspection report

The home inspector I work with the most does a presentation for the buyer and shows them any issues that they found on the spot. So there is no waiting and no guessing. Even if your inspector does go over everything in the presentation I still recommend going over the report. If they are having a busy day and forget to mention something like…say.. signs of insect activity. You might be replacing large sections of your home later. Small issues in home maintenance can turn into large problems within a year or so.

If you hire a qualified home inspector, you show up to the inspection, with your broker and spend a little time really looking around. Review the inspection report when you receive it. You’ll avoid any unwanted surprises and probably save some money too.


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