Looking for a new Washington, D.C. home is a long process, and just when you think you find “the one”, the search is still not over. Before signing any papers or putting down a payment, it’s important that you get a home inspection. Why? Home inspections can bring to light problems you may not notice at first glance and can help you get a better feel for what the house has to offer or what needs to be fixed after purchasing. Home inspections are also important so you can be assured that the home is safe to live in.
Not sure where to start? Here are key areas to make sure get inspected by a certified home inspector.
Most units last for about 15 years as long as they have been well-maintained. An inspector can help determine how old the heating and cooling system is, as well as any problems or if the whole unit should be replaced.
Leaky roofs can causes thousands of dollars in damage. Water from the leaky roof can lead to mold growth. Mold growing in your walls will lead to health risks. While most inspectors aren’t required to climb on a roof to check its quality, a professional roof contractor can get the job done. It might cost a few extra dollars now, but could literally save you thousands of dollars in repairs and medical costs.
Cracks in the foundation and exterior walls could be serious signs of a poor foundation. Serious foundation flaws are expensive to repair and can be an indication the house is sinking.
Just like cracks in the walls indicate a problem with the foundation, stains and rust can be the result of a plumbing problems. Look for stains on the ceilings as well as on the floors.
Stay clear from electrical boxes that look homemade or DIY. Problems with the electricity, having loose cables and exposed wires can lead to electrical fires. This is definitely one part of the inspection you don’t want to miss out on.
As the inspection is going on, be sure to walk around with the inspector and don’t be afraid to ask questions. He will probably also tell you small facts that won’t make it in the final report but would be helpful to know. When the inspection is over, the home inspector can only offer you his professional opinion on the home, but the final decision is up to you. If the problems are things you feel comfortable living with or fixing, then feel confident signing the papers.