Did you know that roughly 40 million Americans move each year? If you’re planning to sell your home or buy a new one, there’s a good chance you’ll need home inspection services.
A home inspection report can shed light on your property’s condition. But how do you read it? Check out this guide to find out!
Look at the Summary
When you read a home inspection report, you should start with the summary. This is the beginning section that provides an overview of the major issues and repair needs of the property. Typically, it is located just after the table of contents.
For the general synopsis of a home’s condition, the summary is the place to go. The inspection summary may alert you to the biggest problems, such as major foundational cracks or old pipes. If the home is at the top of your budget, sometimes that information can be enough to dissuade you from moving forward.
Read the Whole Inspection Report
Once you’ve read the summary, take the time to read the entire home inspection report. Your inspector will offer assessments of your home’s electrical and plumbing systems. For instance, they may identify faucets with low water pressure or electrical wiring that is not up to code.
You’ll also get evaluations of the home’s roof, frame, and HVAC system, as well. Use a highlighter or underline passages where you have concerns. After a home inspection, it’s wise to ask your inspector follow-up questions, particularly if you’re new to the process.
Home inspectors can help you gauge the severity of your concerns. You may be able to monitor an aging water heater, for example. But a corroded sewer pipe might require more urgent action.
Watch for Red Flags
Almost every home inspection report will reflect issues with your home. As a buyer, you’ll need to know which ones are big enough to make you step away from a sale.
Red flags can include foundations with significant cracks or a history of leaks. After all, the last thing you want is a basement that floods constantly or a sinking foundation. You’ll end up pouring money into repairs.
A good home inspector will be able to tell if a home’s electrical system reflects shoddy wiring or uses old fuse boxes. They’ll also have the industry knowledge to tell you whether a carpenter or plumber is the right specialist to call next.
Similarly, a home inspector can alert you to roofing issues that may need more than a repair. For example, if you need to replace your roof decking, you could be out over $20,000.
Review Your Home Inspection Report
Buying a property is a significant investment, and a thorough home inspection is crucial to ensure that you are making an informed decision. The home inspection report provides valuable insights into the condition of the property, which can help you identify any potential issues or red flags that may affect the value or safety of the property.
To make the most of the home inspection report, it’s essential to read the entire report thoroughly and carefully. While it may seem overwhelming, setting aside time to digest the information can help you understand the condition of the property better. It’s also important to pay attention to any recommendations or suggestions made by the inspector to address any issues.
In addition, creating a list of questions based on the inspection report can be helpful in determining whether to proceed with the purchase or not. Your questions can include the severity of any identified problems, their potential costs to repair, and the impact of these issues on the overall value of the property.
Having a clear understanding of the property’s condition can help you negotiate with the seller, plan for any necessary repairs, or even walk away from the deal if the issues are too significant. In summary, a thorough home inspection report is a critical tool in making an informed decision when purchasing a property and taking the time to read it and ask questions is essential.