As a seller, it is important to be up-front and ahead of the game. As a buyer, it is important to do due diligence. The Jeff Lottmann Group encourages the buyers and sellers we represent to conduct a thorough home inspection. But, what does that really mean?
First, make sure your home inspector is a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and/or the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI). The Jeff Lottmann Group has a few trusted advisors we recommend regularly to our clients.
Secondly, become familiar with the items the inspector will evaluate. A short list includes:
- Structural Elements: Construction of walls, ceilings, floors, roof and foundation.
- Exterior Evaluation: Wall covering, landscaping, grading, elevation, drainage, driveways, fences, sidewalks, fascia, trim, doors, windows, lights and exterior receptacles.
- Roof and Attic: Framing, ventilation, type of roof construction, flashing and gutters. It does not include a guarantee of roof condition or a roof certification.
- Plumbing: Identification of pipe materials used for potable, drain, waste and vent pipes, including condition. It does not include a sewer inspection.
- Systems and Components: Water heaters, furnaces, air conditioning, duct work, chimney, fireplace and sprinklers.
- Electrical: Main panel, circuit breakers, types of wiring, grounding, exhaust fans, receptacles, ceiling fans and light fixtures.
- Appliances: Dishwasher, range and oven, built-in microwaves, garbage disposal and, yes, even smoke detectors.
- Garage: Slab, walls, ceiling, vents, entry, firewall, garage door, openers, lights, receptacles, exterior, windows and roof.
Finally, remember that home inspection reports should note each item that is defective or needs service. The problems that should raise serious concern include health and safety issues, roofs with short life expectancies, furnace/AC malfunctions, foundation problems, moisture or drainage issues.