Here at Burnett Real Estate Team, many of our clients ask us about home inspections. Typically, when purchasing a new home, the buyer will hire a home inspector to do a walk-through and assess the current state of the house. From structural instability to cosmetic flaw, the job of these home inspectors is to look for any problem in every nook and cranny of the house imaginable. We have three tried and true inspectors we have had good experiences with. You can interview them all and decide who you like most.
For buyers, the process can be a stressful one, yet necessary one as you wait and see what’s “behind the curtain” of your dream house. As a seller, the experience can be equally as taxing. What you’ve come to know and love about your home’s “character” may be a flaw that your potential buyer isn’t too fond of. What’s more, there may be a few critical problem areas you were never even aware of.
Here are a few common areas that home inspectors check, and what they’re looking for.
Structure and Foundation
One of the seemingly more obvious jobs of a home inspector is to make sure that the house is in a structurally stable condition. This includes things like making sure support beams are secure and assuring that floor beams are in good condition.
An inspector will also make note of the foundation; the biggest red flags to an inspector being large cracks. Large cracks in a concrete foundation indicate that the ground on which the house was built may have since settled. The foundation of a house settling too much could jeopardize the structural integrity of the whole home.
Plumbing and Electrical
Before a home inspector even steps through the door, a seller should make sure to take care of any leaks in your plumbing. An inspector will be sure to turn on every faucet, flush every toilet, and often do them at the same time. If your home has a septic tank, a home inspector will likely check that too.
Be prepared for an inspector to bring in some gadgets and lightbulbs to test all your home’s electrical outlets and light switches. Your electrical panel and circuit breaker configuration should be well labeled.
Make sure that before the inspector arrives, you take a critical look at your home and see if there are any small details that jump out to you; decaying trim work, peeling paint, chipping front steps. Anything that jumps out to you as a home owner are sure to stand out to an inspector.
This means that you should also take the time to care of any loose shingles on the roof, loose bricks on the chimney, and loose gutters or downspouts.
One of the most prevalent things a home inspector will look for inside the home will be mold and mildew; specifically, in the basement. If you find some mold or mildew in your basement, don’t try to cover it up!
Make sure you take care of it correctly to prevent the issue from further spreading. Mold and mildew are problems that simply do not go away on their own. Take care of them now, or pay the price later.
- Proper drainage away from house
- No evidence of standing water
- Well maintained landscape
- Driveways, decks, patios, in adequate condition
- Exterior structures (sheds, fences, retaining walls) in good condition
- Structurally sound foundation
- Windows, doorframes, and walls appear straight and not bowed or sagging
- Roof is properly maintained. No broken, damage, or missing shingles
- No excessive roofing layers
- Clean, and properly maintained gutters
- Chimneys in good condition
- Electrical outlets test properly
- No visible stains (indicating water damage) on interior ceilings, walls, or floors
- Paint, wall coverings, or paneling in good condition
- Walls, floors, ceilings appear straight, plumb, or otherwise not sagging or bowed
- Adequate insulation
- Heating / Cooling sources functioning properly
- Built-in appliances operating properly
- Sinks, tubs, showers, and other plumbing fixtures working properly
Your home inspector will have a more comprehensive list for each area of the home. As a seller or buyer, the above are some quick reference guides for what to look for.
Think your home is up to the test? If you’re looking to buy, or sell a home in the Bentonville area, let Burnett Real Estate Team help you out! Contact Us today!