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What to Expect During a Home Inspection: A jg Buyer’s Guide

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What to Expect During a Home Inspection: A jg Buyer’s Guide

Briana Perrino-Barrett

Briana oversees our marketing department and provides one-on-one coaching sessions and regular training on our internal marketing technology and best ...

Briana oversees our marketing department and provides one-on-one coaching sessions and regular training on our internal marketing technology and best ...

Jul 15 4 minutes read

A home inspection is one of the key steps in the home-buying process. This important step takes place after the seller has accepted your offer, but before the purchase is finally transacted.

Home Inspection Defined

A home inspection is a visual examination of a home’s physical structure and systems that covers the roof to the basement and foundation. The purpose of a home inspection is to identify any building flaws or needed repairs and maintenance. A home inspection report will help you learn more about the house you’re considering buying.

A home inspection is carried out by a professional home inspector that you, the buyer, hire. Home inspectors in Illinois are required to have licenses.

Keep in mind that a home inspection is a visual examination. Home inspectors inspect only what can be seen and what can be “readily accessible” and “visually observable,” according to the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) Standard of Practice.

How to Find a Home Inspector

You can ask your john greene agent to recommend a home inspector. You can also search for one using the tools provided by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). They have a database that lists inspectors by state, including Illinois. ASHI also has a free search engine that lets you search by inspection location and specialty, such as historic homes or high-end homes.

What a Home Inspection Includes

A home inspector will examine the major structural components of the home as well as all the major systems.

Let’s break that down further. The structural elements will include the roof, attic and visible insulation, walls, ceilings, windows, doors, floors, and, finally, the basement and foundation. What the inspector is looking for is the general condition of the structural components as well as any signs or evidence of major damage.

A home inspector will check the heating, ventilation, and cooling system and test it to make sure it’s properly functioning.

The inspector will examine the home’s electrical system to make sure it’s safe. He or she will check that circuit breakers are not overloaded. The home inspector will also turn on all lighting fixtures throughout the house to make sure they work.

The home inspector will check the home’s plumbing system, including outdoor spigots and all inside faucets, toilets, sinks, bathtubs, and showers. He or she will look for signs of any leaks around pipes and fixtures. He or she will inspect the hot water supply systems and sump pump, if the house has one.

The inspector will also look for visible signs of water leaks or water damage to the overall structure.

What a Home Inspection Does Not Include

According to ASHI’s Standard of Practice for home inspectors, there are some areas and systems home inspections are not required to inspect or test. Some examples include septic systems, washing machine connections, smoke alarms, security systems, and central vacuum systems. We recommend interviewing potential home inspectors and asking them exactly what they will include and exclude.

Who Should Be Present at a Home Inspection

It’s a best practice for the home buyer to attend the home inspection, if possible. While the home inspector will provide a report, you’ll be on hand to ask any questions in person.

What Happens If the Report Reveals Problems

Remember that no house is perfect. Most reports will list defects or condition issues. If the home inspection report reveals problems or needed repairs, you as the buyer will have to make the decision whether to proceed with the sale. You may decide to withdraw the offer or you might negotiate with the seller to make certain repairs or request a credit so you can do the repairs yourself. Some issues will be so minor that you might not fix them, but at least you will know about them in advance should you decide to proceed with the property purchase.

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