How to Read Your Home Inspection Report
By now you know that a home inspection is one of the most important steps in buying a new home in Michigan. What you may not know, however, is what to make of the property inspection report delivered to you following the home inspection.
Depending on the type of home inspection report you get — checklist or narrative — you will be able to glean certain information from it. Here’s how to figure out what your home inspector is telling you about your potential new residence. Make sure that your property home inspector will include lots of pictures in the report, and provide you with all the property inspections pictures if you choose so.
Look for Fixture Conditions
The condition of each fixture in the home should be mentioned in the report. A condition is usually noted as Good, Fair, or Poor. Now you need to know what each condition really means.
Good condition is the best possible state for a fixture or element of your new home. There is nothing higher, so don’t be concerned if you don’t see anything noted as “Great,” or “Perfect,” or even “Like New.”
A condition noted as “Fair” probably shows some signs of wear and tear, even though there is nothing really wrong with it. For example, your kitchen sink may be have a faucet in good running order, but receive a “Fair” mark if the home inspector notes rust stains on a metal sink or chips in an enamel sink.
Check the Most Important Areas First
The most important areas on your home inspection report are the electrical and plumbing systems, your roof (and chimney, if one exists), and potential health issues like the presence of mold, mildew or radon gas.
The electrical system in the home should not only be free of defects, but also able to grow with your family and emerging technology. Consider the number of outlets in each room, and determine if the existing electrical panel can accommodate additional circuits. If you decide to add an outlet or two in the future, you want to make sure you won’t have replace the entire electrical panel box in order to do so.
Plumbing problems can be a real pain, and extremely expensive and time-consuming to repair. Don’t forget, it’s not just the water and sewer lines within your home, but also those that connect your home to the city utility services. Make sure you understand where your responsibility would begin if problems are discovered in or just outside the home’s plumbing system.
Consider the Costs to Repair or Replace
Your home inspection report will probably not provide anything in the way of a dollar estimate for problems that turn up during the property inspection. You can, however, usually ask your home inspector for referrals to outside professionals who can answer these questions for you.
It’s important to understand that home inspectors do not provide repair services due to the potential for a conflict of interest. That also helps protect you as a home owner, so don’t take it as a slight if your home inspector can’t give you an idea of the cost to fix a certain problem.
The home inspection cost should not be a factor in choosing the right inspector. Experience, home inspection certification is more important when choosing the right property inspector instead of the property inspection cost.