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 inspections are:
  • 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 information.


  • 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 inspection for:
    • 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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A.J. Williamson
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Direct:(757) 639-3222    


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