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Guide To Different Types Of Home Inspection

House Pro Home Inspection Inc.   |  

A top-down view of a neighborhood block.

If this is the first time you're putting your home on the market, there's a chance you're not familiar with different types of home inspection. Also, the odds are that you might not know what home inspection actually stands for. Let's say you've got a picture of what it can be, and you know inspection's an integral part of the selling/buying process. So, what's the deal with the whole home inspection business, and what are the different types of it? Continue reading to find out!

What's a home inspection?

Okay, so the term we'll be using a lot today (home inspection) is a report made by a professional home inspection company once they generate a thorough evaluation of a specific property. It's one of the most critical steps in the process of buying a home, especially if you're a first-timer. The purpose of this inspection is to provide home buyers with an unbiased account of any issues their (potentially) new home has before they finalize the process.

When does a home inspection take place?

This process usually takes place while a home is under contract. In other words: it means that the offer on the house has been made and accepted. The buyer has a certain (set) period of time proposed by the purchase agreement to complete the inspection and finalize the purchase. Also, the buyer can dismiss the contract without enduring financial issues if the home inspection reveals expensive repairs need to be done.

Two women signing a contract.
A home inspection usually takes place right after the contract is signed. If it reveals major issues, the buyer can leave the contract without financial penalties.

What's included in a home inspection?

Now, you might wonder how deep inspectors go when surveying a home. If so, here's what's included in a home inspection:

  • Roof.
  • Plumbing.
  • Insulation.
  • A/C and heating.
  • Ventilation.
  • Windows & doors.
  • Structural components (floors, walls, ceiling, stairs, etc.)
  • Wood stoves/fireplaces.
  • Exterior (porches, siding, attached decks, etc.)
  • Major appliances.

Different types of home inspection

Okay, now that we're finished with the introduction to this process, let's see what the different types of home inspection one might stumble upon are. Depending on their finds, your inspectors might demand you do some of these additional inspections. Let's see them!

Radon testing

First things first, radon is an odorless & colorless gas. It's a result of the gradual breakdown of Earth's radioactive elements. Its source can be well water, building material, and soil. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) suggests exposure to this gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in our country. Also, they add you'll find elevated radon levels in roughly 1/15 of homes. These tests should occur over a 90-day period. Unfortunately, you probably won't have that luxury. See if the owners have previous test results to show you, and do a short-term (48 hrs) radon test. A professional radon inspector will provide you with results in a few days.

WDO inspection (termite inspection)

This type of inspection will ensure your new house isn't already home to six-legged tenants such as termites or wood-boring beetles. Carpenter ants belong in that group, too. Additionally, WDO inspectors will search for dry rot, which is caused by fungi. Many US states demand you do a WDO inspection before closing on a home. Also, if you're using either a VA or FHA loan when buying a house, a WDO inspection might be required, regardless of where your new home is. The folks at Brooklyn Movers New York tell us these little creatures can be downright irritating. Imagine moving wooden furniture with all these pests creeping inside. Yuck!

A wooden interior of a home
Some US states require you to conduct a WDO inspection before closing in on a home.

Mold inspection

Remember the old saying: if you see mold, it means you've got mold? Now, one might be worried about what isn't so obvious (to our eyes or noses). That's why you might want to hire a mold inspector. These professionals use a special moisture meter to find dampness in insulation, drywall, and other building materials. Also, they'll probably take air samples from both inside and outside of your new home.

Foundation inspection

Your average home inspector will want to take a look at your new home's foundation and search for potential issues like drainage problems, nearby tree roots, cracks in the walls, or other signs of movement. If the inspection shows certain problems, your inspector might suggest you have the property thoroughly examined by a residential structural engineer. If you're worried that this might take a while and you don't have anywhere to go with your belongings, consider renting a storage unit. It's the most secure place for household items, and you'll rest assured knowing your stuff's safe. Anyway, the aforementioned structural engineer will conduct a comprehensive study of your new home's foundation, diagnose the causes of all the issues and provide a solution. Keep in mind this inspection costs about $500.

A foundation of a house
A foundation inspection is a great way to determine certain issues regarding your new home.

So, what do you do when the inspection's over?

Once the inspectors do their jobs, you've got a few options to choose from. You can:

  • Walk away from the sale with no regrets.
  • Ask the seller to fix issues the inspection has found.
  • Renegotiate the price so that you can fix the issues yourself.
  • Proceed with the sale as you planned.

If you're not sure what to do, you should consult with your real estate agent. They'll surely know what's the ideal option once you give them all the info.

Final words

Okay, folks! These were the different types of home inspections one might conduct before buying a home. Never hesitate to do them before finalizing the deal. You might save yourself and your family from trouble long-term. You know how they say - better safe than sorry!

Meta description: Buying a new home? If so, step inside to see our little guide on different types of home inspection.

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