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14 Things First-Time Homebuyers Must Inspect

For most Americans, purchasing a new home is a life-changing, once-in-a-lifetime decision from both a personal and a financial aspect. As such, it must be approached with utmost care and deliberation to ensure your desired property is free of serious defects and other problems that can result in expensive complications down the road.  

Even if you’re a lifelong do-it-yourselfer who has first-hand experience with all sorts of household issues, a buyer’s home inspection in San Diego, CA, can still identify severe structural problems and other issues you’d otherwise miss.

In order to help you make the process of purchasing or selling a home as straightforward as possible, we’ve prepared a list of the 14 things first-time homebuyers should examine when inspecting a home. Keep reading to learn more.

What should a home inspection focus on?

When examining a residential property, your goal should be to detect any issues that can lead to costly repairs or even pose a health hazard to the occupants. Depending on the severity of the problems, buyers should either request repairs from the seller, have the seller adjust the price of the home accordingly, or consider not proceeding with the deal.

Here are the top 14 things homebuyers should look at:

  • Exterior surfaces. Are there visible damages or decay on the masonry, siding, stucco, and stains? Are there vines that need to be removed?
  • Roofing. Are there any leaks? Are the tiles or shingles, gutters, chimney, flashing, and skylights in good condition? Is there mildew or excessive debris?
  • Attic. Are there any signs of roof leaks (eg., stains under the roofing)? What’s the state of the ventilation and insulation? Is there any visible damage or decay?
  • Crawlspace. Check for mildew or mold, pest damage, and ventilation or insulation issues.
  • Garage. What’s the state of the ceiling, walls, lights, door, garage door opener, windows, roof, and slab?
  • Foundation. Are there any cracked walls, sloping floors, or doors and windows that won’t close correctly? What’s the condition of the insulation, anchoring, and underfloor ventilation?
  • Heating and Air Conditioning (HVAC). Are there any signs of leaks, corrosion, dirt, and excessive energy usage? How well have the vents been maintained? How old is the furnace?
  • Fireplace. What’s the state of its spark arrestor, damper, firebox, flue, and masonry? Is there excessive buildup inside the chimney?
  • Basement. Is there moisture? What’s the state of the insulation and the foundation?
  • Electrical. Are electrical panels, switches, outlets, receptacles, service equipment, circuit wiring, light fixtures, and exhaust and ceiling fans properly installed and in good condition? 
  • Plumbing. Faucets, fixtures, water pump, water heater, water supply piping, and drain piping all need to be examined. Are there any leaks under the sink, dishwasher, or toilets? 
  • Grounds. Make sure to check the condition of the patio or deck, sidewalks, driveway, stair railings, standing water, drainage or grading, and exterior structures.
  • Interior spaces. Make sure to inspect cabinets, appliances, doors and windows, stairs, floors, as well as any water stains and wall or ceiling cracks.
  • Miscellaneous. Are there signs of a mold or mildew infestation? Is asbestos, lead, or radon present? 

Where can I schedule a reliable buyer’s home inspection in San Diego, CA?

What should first time homebuyers focus onIf thoroughly inspecting all of the above sounds extremely complicated, that’s because it is. The reality is that most people simply don’t have the requisite knowledge to perform a professional-grade home inspection. 

Luckily, Inspectors Company specializes in providing the good people of San Diego with top-of-the-line home inspection services. Whether you’re looking to buy an apartment in Rolando, or you’re planning to prepare your property for the real estate market, our experts will be happy to provide you with the crucial information you need.

Call us today. 

What Is a Re-Inspection and When Is It Needed?

A buyer’s home inspection in San Diego is one of the final hurdles property sellers and buyers have to get through before the deal can be finalized. It’s also one of the most important steps in the whole process because it enables the buyer to identify any problems with the property and request the seller to adjust their asking price or perform the necessary repairs. 

Unless you have a background in construction (or a related field), hiring a home inspector is a must in order to avoid making a major financial decision you may regret at a later date. Not only do home inspectors know exactly what to look for when examining a home, they’re also able to detect and warn you about any red flags related to that particular property.

Which brings us to the topic of this article: in cases where the seller agrees to repair the property, how are these repairs verified? Should your home inspector perform a re-inspection to make sure all the repairs have been done correctly? Read on to learn more. 

Who verifies repairs after the home inspection?

The best way to verify that the repairs have been done correctly is by having the original inspector re-inspect the property. Doing so is especially important in cases where extensive repairs were requested, or the repairs were performed on crucial structural components such as a house’s foundation or electric. 

Important things to consider include:

Repair requests should be precise and straightforward

Specifying improper repairs or asking for the wrong items to be fixed is a common mistake buyers make at this step of the process. Luckily, a quality home inspection report should make all the problems and ways to fix them clear and easily understandable.

Focus on a few crucial repairs and don’t sweat the small stuff

Even a brand new home will have some small problems (eg., old and squeaky door hinges). Buyers should keep in mind that these insignificant issues matter very little in the context of 10, 20, or 30+ years of home ownership, and that demanding the seller to fix every little thing is just going to complicate things.

Instead, the buyer should focus on a handful of important problems that can have a meaningful impact on their future finances. 

Consider asking for building permits

By asking for building permits when requesting repairs, the buyer not only compels the seller to “play by the rules”, but also makes sure that the home was inspected by a licensed authority. The drawback of this approach is that it can take longer to complete. 

Avoid asking the seller to make repairs

When the seller takes care of the repairs, there’s always the risk that the final result won’t be in line with what the buyer considers to be acceptable. This can lead to further disagreements and repair requests, which can easily bog down the deal and cause it to fall through. 

Instead, it’s much better to request the seller to fund repairs, or have the price of the property changed to account for the necessary repairs. This way, the buyer will have full control over how the repairs are conducted. 

Where can I book a top-notch buyer’s home inspection in San Diego?

Do I need a reinspection after repairsNo matter how perfect it might look at a glance, that property in Palm City you’re thinking of buying or selling may be hiding all kinds of costly or even dangerous problems. Knowing about these issues in advance will enable you to make an informed financial decision and avoid costly complications later on. 

Here at Inspectors Company, we’d like to help you do just that by providing you with the very finest home inspection services in San Diego.

Contact us today and benefit from our InterNACHI-certified inspectors and cutting-edge equipment.