After deciding upon a home, buyers can proceed with
the inspection phase. Home Inspection is a specialized
skill and there are inspectors who have expertise in
this area and ASHI certified. The cost for getting
some real estate inspected depends upon the detailed
level of inspection desired and the size of the home.
There are different types of inspections that can be
performed, though not all buyers get all types of
inspections done. Some of the most common types of
- General Home Inspection: A single home
inspector may be able to provide you with a
complete service that covers many areas/aspects of
the home like: basement, attic, bathrooms,
electric/wiring, insulation, plumbing, gas/fuel,
furnace, heating and cooling system, built-in
appliances, foundation, construction, masonry
walls, fireplaces and chimneys, roof, etc. This is
useful for going over the overall details of the
house. They may also be a good source of
- Pest/termite Inspection: During this type
of inspection you would find out if the house has
any pests (termites, carpenter ants or other
boring pests) problem. The pest/termite inspector
can often also report on structural irregularities
such as wood rot, foundation displacement etc.
Some of the local pest control agencies may be
able to offer you such a service for nominal
rates. This inspection is required by state law
and is usually currently paid by the seller.
- Lead Testing: This testing checks for
lead content in houses built before 1978. A lead
testing specialist may perform this test in
various locations of the house.
- Electrical: The general home inspection
usually covers basic electrical system inspection
comprising checking amperage, checking for exposed
wires, determination of type of wiring, wiring and
outlets adequacy, etc. If you/inspector determine
that there is a problem in the electrical system
(for example, aluminum wiring which has been
declared by the federal government as an
"imminent hazard"), an inspection by an
electrician might be in order.
- New Home Inspection: Some of the
inspections described above also apply to new
homes. In addition, you may also want to perform
- construction type and material used,
- ensuring that the new appliances are
installed as designed,
- ensuring that all fittings and equipments
are used as per specification and agreement,
- possibility of roof leakage,
- any new land grading issues etc.
Note: This checklist is meant to give you a sense
of inspection areas to look into when considering
purchasing a property. But, it is by no means an
exhaustive list of all the different kinds of
inspections that can/should be performed. There may be
other types of inspections as well and you must
carefully consider all your options. Not all home
buyers perform all the inspections. You have to make
your own decision as to which ones are of value to you
and are relevant. Consider obtaining additional
information from professional home inspection
services, home inspection books, ASHI (American
Society of Home Inspectors), etc.
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