How Do I Read A Home Inspection Report?
If you’re a new home buyer looking to get the scoop on home inspection reports, you’ve come to the right place. After all, you’re making a huge investment by purchasing a home, which is why it’s so valuable in the home buying experience.
When the home inspectors assess the property, they’re evaluating its current condition and they will note their findings and deliver you a formal report with those results.
What Is In The Inspection Report?
The home inspection report is a highly detailed document providing a range of findings throughout the property.
Every home inspector is different and their reports are just as different. Make sure to ask your prospective hire about their reports so you know you’ll be able to understand their context as well as the detail, effort, and time that’s put into the process. Do they provide photos? Do they go in the crawl space, walk the attic?
Every home inspector does their job a little differently however, there is a standard operation state by state they must uphold to be licensed.
Your Report May Include:
- Exterior: the siding, eaves, soffits, doors, windows, the driveway, stairs, decking, drainage, and retaining walls, sprinklers, additional structures, spas, or pools
- Roof: the overall condition of shingles, the chimney, gutters, and any skylights
- Basement: if the home has a basement the foundation and structural integrity will be checked/crawled
- Attic/Crawlspaces: including the insulation and ventilation
- Ventilation: in areas like the bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry room
- Electrical, HVAC, and Plumbing systems
- Interior: doors, windows, landings, stairs
- Garage door(s)
Some home inspectors go beyond that level of service which also speaks volumes about their integrity.
What To Look For
Some of our top concerns to be on the lookout for when deciphering your report are;
Water intrusion – Water can cause major damage to the structure of the home as well as a super host for mold growth which is detrimental to your health and well-being.
Pest or termite damage – Making sure that the overall structure is sound and the damage is only minimal if any, and can be repaired.
Older homes, older pipes, and sewage – We typically recommend getting a sewer scope on aged homes to assess the integrity of the sewer lines, verifying there are no cracks, leaks, barriers, or missing lines.
If you find evidence of damage or potential future damage, like a roof near the end of its life – be sure to take that into consideration when negotiating terms with the seller.
In an ideal scenario, your home inspector will do a walk-through of the property with you to point out concerns or cosmetic repairs. Ask questions and they’ll deliver, home inspectors are a great resource to rely on.