A good home inspection is worth the money
I spent the evening reading through the inspection that was done on our new home in the mountains. The inspector that performed the inspection did a very thorough job and put together a report that included tons of pictures (included in this article).
What surprised me was that our mortgage company didn’t require an inspection, only an appraisal. I went ahead and ordered the inspection anyway. In the current housing market, the last thing I wanted to do is move into a home that might potentially have serious problems I wasn’t aware of.
The inspection was done by a local housing inspector that lives in the area. The report was created and placed online where I could read it and easily share it with others. The report was full of detail, including tips and suggestions our inspector had for areas that weren’t really problems, but areas or items he felt needed repair anyway.
The report was broken down into multiple sections which I’ll detail below.
We visited our new home a few times prior to making an offer. I’m no inspector, but I’ve been around the block enough to know a little about what to look for. During our visits, I paid particular attention to the roof, looking for signs of damage or water leaks. I didn’t see any issues. Our inspector checked out our roof as well. He found it in very good condition and saw no signs of leaks or problems.
The only thing he did find was that in addition to the current satellite TV receiver, there had previously been another. Rather than removing the brackets, the home owners had just left them there. They are sealed and our inspector assured me they would leak, just having the extra brackets there bugs me. I probably won’t have the sellers remove it, but at some point I’ll remove them.
Looks like the receiver that’s on there now is DirectTV. Any concerns or feedback on DirectTV?
The inspector verified all exterior components of the house, including vegetation and surrounding trees. He specifically looked our the doors, windows, decks, steps, railings, driveway, retaining walls and anything else outside. He only found a few minor issues. The vent cover on the master bathroom vent cover is missing. This would allow insects to potentially get into the house. Given my fear of bees, I’ve requested that be fixed before we move in!
The grading of the driveway is decent, but where it meets the garage is a little high. Our inspector said it wouldn’t be a problem unless we received a very heavy rain, but the potential exists for water to run into the garage. He looked for signs of it having occurred in the past but didn’t find anything. Again, another very easy fix and one we can do ourselves.
The only other issue, and this shows how thorough our inspector was, is that one of the deck posts isn’t secured enough. This is a big issue as our deck is a good 10 feet off the ground (as you can see in the top picture). I thought about asking the sellers to fix this, but honestly for the safety of my kids, I’ll fix this issue myself.
He even tested the garage door opener and verified the garage door seals where in good shape.
The interior section of the report was full of pictures. Again, he was very thorough checking out ceilings, walls, floors, stairs, railings, counters, doors and windows. Once again, problems found were very minor. The counter top in the upstairs bathroom was never attached to the cabinet. I’m guessing the home owner just forgot. I’ll fix this one too, as it’s really easy.
The one issue he did find that I’ve requested the sellers replace is a cracked window in one of the bedrooms.
The inspector pointed out a number of other things that weren’t problems at all, but just things he wanted us to be aware of. For example, upstairs the sellers installed a drop ceiling. The inspector said it was installed too close to the ceiling joists and made the tiles hard to remove. He recommended replacing it with a true dry wall ceiling for a nicer look. I agree and we had planned to do that already.
He said all of the flooring, walls and ceilings were in excellent shape. I was glad to hear the flooring was good. The flooring is hardwood and could be expensive to fix if there was a problem.
The kitchen was also in great shape, with all the appliances working correctly and all of the improvements meeting local building codes.
The structure of the house is in very good condition. A few of the basement cinder blocks have cracked, but the inspector assured me that this was very normal. He suggested we apply some mortar to the cracks to fill them in and keep them from expanding further. I’ll do this right after we move in. The basement of the house is very dry (unlike the previous house we looked at). Other structural components of the house were fine and had no issues.
Again, no significant issues reported. The sellers must have not finished their job to finishing off the upstairs area as many of the light covers and light fixtures were never installed. Our inspector highly recommended having the sellers put covers on all of the switches, electrical outlets and junction boxes for light fixtures (or install light fixtures). This is something we’ve asked the owners to do.
Plumbing was in great shape with the inspector only noting that one of the facets doesn’t stop appropriately and can be continuously turned from hot to cold and back to hot. Again, no problem, just something he wanted us to be aware of. He even took a picture of the water cut-off valve so we would know where it was at when we moved in!
The biggest issue with the whole inspection is the gas line that is ran to the gas fireplace. Our inspector said it didn’t meet gas company standards. He said it was safe, but if we ever wanted larger tanks beyond the small propane tanks currently connected that we would need to have the gas line re-installed. You can see in the picture to the right how the line isn’t properly secured to the house. We plan to use the gas logs in the winter, probably very frequently and had planned to have a bigger tank installed. Repairing of the gas line is something we’ve asked the sellers to have repaired.
By the way, note the extra deck supporting on the end? Can you say “future hot-tub” ???? :-D
Heating, AC, insulation, appliances
The heating / Central Air Conditioning system, insulation and appliances all checked out with no issues. The only thing he did note was that the air handler for the heat pump system was difficult to access due to a wall the seller’s had built around it. Again, not an issue just something our inspector found odd and wanted to mention.
Overall, we were very happy with the report. There were no significant issues at all, and our home inspector was friendly, professional and put together a really great report for us. The peace of mind alone was well worth the $325 for the inspection. Things are finally coming together for us. We are just awaiting the final appraisal now. Assuming that comes back correctly, we’re good to close on October 23rd. Yeah!