When you’re buying a home, you need to go into the transaction with a complete understanding of the property you are buying.

So you can be confident of your purchase and know exactly what you’re getting.

If the condition of parts of the home are unknown, you could find yourself faced with major issues that need attention after moving in.

Some of which could cost thousands of dollars to repair.

That’s why you need a home inspection.

Today, we’re going to break it down for you and explain what to expect from a home inspection.

Click a section below to answer any of the following questions.

  1. What is a home inspection?
  2. Do you need to hire a licensed inspector?
  3. Are you required to have a home inspection?
  4. What kind of inspection is necessary for a home?
  5. What’s included in a general home inspection?
  6. What’s not included in a general home inspection?
  7. What does the inspector look for during a home inspection?
  8. Who is present at a home inspection?
  9. Who pays for a home inspection?
  10. What is the average cost of a general home inspection?
  11. Final notes about home inspections

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is a diagnosis of the current condition of a home.

This inspection is usually associated with the sale of the home.

A home inspection is completed by a licensed inspector who has the certifications and expertise to inspect a home.

An inspector will go through every part of the home and assess the normal working order of each component.

After the completion of an inspection, a report is issued, usually within 24 to 48 hours.

The inspection report is given to the client that requested the inspection.

Details on the normal working order of the property are stated in this report.

Do you need to hire a licensed inspector?

An inspection can be the determining factor when buying your next home. Because of this, it is crucial to know what to expect from a home inspection.

It is wise to have your home inspection done by a certified home inspector.

The final report you receive, after your home is inspected, will give you a list of deficiencies that gives you the ability to make informed decisions.

The report will give a list of potential repairs that can or need to be fixed by either the seller or you.

Are you required to have a home inspection?

You are not required to have a home inspection by law in most states.

However, many mortgage companies require you to have a home inspection.

Here’s why.

A house is a big investment.

When purchasing your next home, you want to have factual details about the house.

An inspection will help ensure sure that the previous owner is disclosing all the information necessary for you to make a sound purchase.

What kind of inspection is necessary for a home?

A general home inspection is where you need to begin.

In short, a general inspection includes electrical, mechanical and plumbing (EMP), along with a limited structural inspection.

A general home inspection will give you the general information for the current condition of the home you are looking for.

What’s included in a general home inspection?

A general home inspection is a thorough and non-invasive examination of a home at the time of the inspection.

This examination will result in a report that details the condition of every general area.

The report typically encompasses your roof, exterior, interior, kitchen, heating and cooling systems, electrical, plumbing, attic, and crawl space (if present).

What’s not included in a general home inspection?

Some potential problems that are not addressed under the scope of a home inspection may require further evaluation by specialists.

For example, if you notice there are areas with wood rot present, this problem will require a separate inspection and fee to assess the damage.

Extra inspections necessary may include:

  • Termite inspection
  • Pool inspection
  • Mold inspection
  • Sprinkler inspection
  • Certified structural engineer inspection
  • Air duct inspection
  • Main drain/sewer line inspection
  • Septic inspection
  • Well inspection
  • Water quality inspection
  • Radon gas inspection

Just because these inspections are extra, doesn’t mean they are not just as important. These inspections can often uncover very costly deficiencies.

What does the inspector look for during a home inspection?

Essentially, everything from the top of the house to the bottom and everything in between is inspected.

An inspector will take note of anything that is not in normal working order. This guide will show you what to expect from a home inspection.

Roof

Your roof is a vital part of the home’s structure.

If not in the correct condition, it can lead to many issues including wood rot, leaks, and structural issues.

Some issues may be obvious in the form of water stains on the ceiling or a shingle on the front lawn.

Some issues with the roof may not be so obvious, but they can make a large impact to the integrity of your home.

Because of this, you will want a trained inspector to give you the best information.

The inspector will be looking for things like:

  1. Missing shingles
  2. Worn shingles
  3. Damaged shingles
  4. Hail damage
  5. Wind damage
  6. Excessive deflection at the sheathing
  7. Loose flashing

Exterior of a home

The exterior facade is the first impression people will have of your home.

If deficiencies exist it will be important to differentiate between cosmetic and structural concerns in order to know what your next steps will be.

Everything visible will be inspected.

The exterior includes all the components associated with the porch. This would be the railing, decking, and stairs.

Other components include garages, trim, siding, doors, and windows.

The inspector will be looking for things like:

  • Absence of caulking
  • Damaged/deteriorated siding
  • Deteriorated eaves
  • Rotted trim or soffits
  • Cracks in the morter
  • Prior repairs to the property
  • Damaged decking.
  • Excessive movement in veneer

Interior of a home

The interior inspection of your home encompasses the largest part of the inspection.

To start they inspect all walls, ceilings, stairways, doors, and windows.

This may reveal leaks in the roof or structural problems.

The inspector will be looking for things like:

  • Cracks
  • Moisture
  • Water stains
  • Nail pops
  • Doors that don’t latch
  • Unlevel doors
  • Damaged insulated seals on the windows
  • Broken glass
  • Lack of caulking around windows
  • Damaged locking mechanisms
  • Uneven floors

Kitchen

The kitchen is a big part of your home.

You’re going to be spending each day preparing food and cleaning up that food.

The last thing you want is to have faulty appliances or outlets that can really cause damage to your new home or rack up a large bill right after you move in.

The condition of your kitchen is important to know whenever negotiating.

Built-in appliances, cabinets, countertops, and plumbing fixtures will be included in your home inspection.

The inspector will be looking for things like:

  • Leaking plumbing fixtures
  • Correct plumbing traps
  • Functional cabinets
  • Cracks in the countertops

Heating and Cooling System

The heating system in your home is another big expense that you want to have knowledge about.

Your home depends on a heating and cooling system to provide heat during the cold winter and cool air during hot summers.

The inspector will be looking for things like:

  • Correct joints at the ducts
  • Freon line insulation
  • Clogged coils
  • Temperature differential for the home
  • Conduit is correctly connected to the shut off
  • Steady flames within the furnace
  • Working blower
  • Main shut off is properly working

Electrical

The electricity in your home is what powers your lifestyle.

It is a complex system that delivers your way of life in the safest way possible.

To a homeowner, it may look like a bunch of wires.

To a home inspector, it is a very important component to the house so you may live worry free.

Electrical outlets, electrical panel, light fixtures, and bathroom vents are inspected under this category.

The inspector will be looking for things like:

  • Presence of grounding in outlets
  • GFCI outlets in the kitchen, bathroom, garage, and exterior of the home
  • Adequate wire size for the fuses or breakers
  • Presence of index
  • Proper grounding
  • Normal working light fixtures
  • Balanced fans

Plumbing

The plumbing system in your home is made up of two different components.

One system will take the waste water out, and the other one will bring fresh water in.

It follows the way of gravity and seeks to level itself out.

It must have the correct pressure to go from the meter, around corners, and upstairs.

The components inspected include toilets, hot water tank, sinks, showers, laundry connections, and exterior faucets.

The inspector will be looking for things like:

  • Leaks in the toilets, sinks, or showers
  • Secure toilet fixtures
  • Raised hot water tank (18” from the ground”)
  • Correct material on the T&P line
  • Cracks in any plumbing fixture
  • Shut off to the water supply line

Attic

An attic can become a very hazardous part of your home if it is not in normal working order.

Cozy holiday decorations, important sentimental pieces, and extra furniture waiting for your next home can all be stored within.

These items are very important and should not be in any danger.

The inspector will be looking for things like:

  • Correct rafter spacing
  • Adequate insulation
  • Adequate ventilation
  • Electrical components are safe

Crawl space

This space is small but serves a specific purpose.

It is beneficial in damp or flood prone areas.

A crawl space provides access to plumbing and ductwork in some homes.

The inspector will be looking for things like:

  • Adequate rafter spacing
  • Insulation
  • Adequate water barrier
  • Ventilation
  • No leaks in the plumbing

Structural

A general home inspection does include a structural inspection, but it is limited.

An inspector is trained to visually inspect for structural deficiencies.

Excessive cracks in the veneer or movement in the structure can indicate structural issues.

A lot of the issues will be visible from the outside.

Unfortunately, many structural issues can be cosmetically repaired to hide the problems.

A trained inspector will be able to tell if any attempts to cover up big structural issues was done.

Structural issues are also visible from the inside.

An inspector will be looking for things like:

  • Cracks in the morter
  • Uneven doors
  • Uneven floors
  • Doors that stick
  • Nail pops at the walls or ceilings

Now that we’ve gone over the different components associated with an inspection, you should have a better understanding of what to expect.

As you can tell by this long list, it is crucial to include the step of an inspection within the process of buying your next home.

It is important to have an inspector with a great reputation and attention to detail.

Other questions frequently asked about home inspections

Who is present at a home inspection?

Home buyers – Home buyers go to a home inspection if they choose. You are not required to go but it is highly encouraged. It is also encouraged to know what to expect from a home inspection. Being present will allow the inspector to visually show you the main concerns of the home before making an informed decision to invest in it. It will also give you a better understanding of the deficiencies of the home and allow you to determine who is responsible for each of them.

Home sellers – Normally, the sellers realtor will be present on behalf of the homeowner themselves. The seller is allowed to be at the inspection if desired, but it is not required.

Who pays for a home inspection?

The short answer is – the client. Typically the buyer is the client of an inspection. The information collected is disclosed to the buyer and whoever else they choose. A home inspection can be paid for by the buyer. Another option is for the buyer to negotiate the inspection as being included with the cost of the home. So, in this case, the seller would pay for the inspection when it comes to closing.

What is the average cost of a general home inspection?

The cost of a home inspection largely depends on factors such as square footage and location. The average cost of a home inspection in Tulsa, Oklahoma is around $350. A condo or a small home can be as low as $295. This cost includes the plumbing, mechanical, electrical, and limited structural. A large home can cost upwards of $400+. Anything outside of a general home inspection will have separate fees attached.

The great thing about ‘adding on’ to your home inspection is that it typically will be less expensive than getting each test done separately.

For example, If you need a home inspection, pool inspection, termite inspection, and certified structural engineer inspection, all of these will typically cost less than getting four different companies to come and inspect them separately.

Final notes about home inspections

A home inspection can keep you from making a very costly mistake. The knowledge uncovered by a home inspection can be priceless. It will assist you in what you are about to jump into and allow you to make the best informed decision possible. Although a home inspection can uncover problems associated with a house, it will not give you the solution to those problems. The report is a great starting point as to what is required for your next steps. It is a great way to get an unbiased opinion about the new house you are about to acquire. Go into your home purchase confident in knowing what to expect from a home inspection. The more knowledge you have, the less surprises can catch you off guard. Last thing to always remember about an inspection: hire a licenced home inspector to get the job done by a professional.

If you live in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area, and you need a Tulsa home inspection, give Parker Inspections a call at  (918) 978-6844.