Inside Track

Buying or Selling a House? Here's How a Home Inspection Works

From Long Fence and Home

A home inspection helps ID areas of the home that need an update or repair. The home inspection lets a buyer make an informed decision when purchasing a property.

Jessica Richardson, a realtor serving the Washington, D.C. metro area, estimates that a whopping 99% of buyers opt for a home inspection before purchasing a home.

“A buyer’s home inspection,” she notes, “is considered a standard part of the contract sales agreement.

What does a home inspection include?

The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) lists 10 standards of practice for performing a home inspection. 

1. Structure (Bones of the Home)

A home must be structurally sound to be safely occupied. Makes sense, right? That’s why the inspection begins with the structural system, including the foundation and framing.

The inspector will access attics and crawlspaces to inspect the foundation, floor, wall, ceiling and roof structures. They will look for moisture, cracks or other signs of damage, like visible evidence of termites.

2. Outside of the Home

A home’s exterior reveals a lot of potential problems and can identify the causes of structural issues. The home inspector should examine sidewalks, siding, trim, drainage, porches, doors, railings and more. the home inspection should include notes of any defect, like missing trim, loose railings or wobbly floorboards on a deck.

3. Roof and Roof Drainage

Home inspectors look at the condition of the roofing materials, like shingles and flashing. The drainage systems, including gutters and downspouts, are closely studied. Objects on the roof, like pipes and vents, are also reviewed.

“A good inspector will provide very important information about your roof, including its age, roof draining systems, buckled shingles and loose gutters and downspouts,” REALTORMag says. “They should also inform you of the condition of any skylights and chimneys as well as the potential for pooling water.”

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