When you have a contract to buy a new home, it's easy to fall in love with its potential. But before you spend too long in the cloud, you'll need to check the reality of a home inspection. During a home inspection, a professionally trained inspector visually and physically evaluates the entire structure, from the foundation to the roof, for possible defects or warning signs. Roofs need to be replaced from time to time, which can be an expensive process.
As part of your inspection report, an inspector will normally provide an estimate of how many good years your roof has left before you consider replacing it. To find a licensed inspector, consult the American Society of Home Inspectors or the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. Inspectors will thoroughly review the details of the property for things that are not working well, that are not safe, that are close to the end of the suggested period of use, and that are generally wearing out. A pre-sale inspection can help set a more realistic price and generate higher offers for properties in excellent condition.
The inspector will search the property to check for cracks in the foundation and will look at drains, gutters and window covers, and window seals. You can find an inspector through the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) or ask your real estate agent or community members for recommendations. As with most things in life, the cheapest inspector isn't always the best, especially if your state doesn't license home inspectors. Some certified home inspectors offer additional services, such as radon testing, and will recommend asbestos testing for homes suspected of being at risk.
So what exactly are home inspectors looking for? These are the 6 main things an inspector will always review. Home inspectors mainly look for issues that affect safety and focus on the most expensive items, not cosmetics, such as peeling wallpaper, says Tim Buell, director of financial services and former president of ASHI. Since inspections are vital to the homebuying process, buyers are likely to choose an experienced home inspector whose credentials include certification from the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) or another professional organization. To apply for a home inspector's license, submit a completed application to the New York State Department's Division of State Licensing Services.