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Home Inspections 101

A home inspection can be one of the most important (and potentially, daunting) things that a homebuyer takes on. If it’s your first time around, the inspection process can be a great way to get to know your new home and the systems in it. When negotiating repairs with the seller, the following areas are pretty important:

– Leaking and Grading. There’s not much point to having a roof over your head if water is coming in from any direction. It’s incredibly important that your roof is sound, that the gutters perform as they should, and that the surrounding land is graded to move water away from the house (and, of course, the basement or crawlspace).

-Insect Infestation and Damage. While a termite inspection would be conducted by someone other than your home inspector, it is often worthwhile to schedule them together. If your home sits on or close to the ground, wood-destroying insects are worth looking into.

– Structural Damage. Cracks in plaster and shifted doors and windows could be a sign of poor structural integrity which could potentially cost big bucks to repair. Keep in mind, though, homes will naturally shift and settle over the course of their lives.

– Windows. Costly to replace, windows are another important piece of the puzzle. They play a large part in the heating and cooling efficiency of your home.

– Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC). You definitely want to make sure that all of these systems are in good working order. Once you know they are, it might be a good idea to hedge your bets with a home warranty.

– Electrical Wiring and Plumbing. These two systems are the networks of your home’s functionality. Old or improperly installed systems could end up costing you money in the long run.

If this breakdown hasn’t scared you away from home-buying entirely, let me reassure you that aging is completely normal and to be expected. A good inspector should be able to explain all of these things to you and be able to answer any questions you have, and your Realtor will work on your behalf to negotiate any repairs that might be needed.