There are lots of things called an inspection when you are buying a home – termite inspection, home inspection, final inspection, city/county inspection, radon inspection, the pre-drywall inspection, well and septic inspections, heating and air inspection, and yes, there are more inspections that can be done.
The inspection that covers the most items on a property you purchase is called a home inspection (aka private home inspection). In NC you should hire a licensed home inspector. In 1994, North Carolina established the North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Board (NCHILB). There are professional associations for home inspectors such as ASHI and InterNACHI and they are separate from the licensure board.
There are minimum standards for what a licensed home inspector should check during an inspection. Most of the home inspectors my buyer clients hire go above and beyond these minimums. For example, a minimum requirement is to check “a representative number” of windows and electrical outlets. You want to hire a home inspector who will check all windows and electrical outlets that are reasonably accessible (i.e. not blocked by furniture or in a 2 story space).
Inspection checks all the major systems, interior and exterior, including:
- Roof (inspect the condition of shingles & flashing)
- Exterior cladding (inspect for wood rot or areas of potential water penetration)
- Windows and doors (confirm they open & close easily; inspect for failed seal between window panes)
- Kitchen appliances
- Ceilings and floors (inspect for water damage, unevenness)
- Plumbing (run water in all sinks & tubs and flush all toilets; inspect water heater)
- Electrical (inspect electrical panel, check outlets & GFCIs)
- Crawlspace (inspect for fallen insulation, failed vapor barrier)
- Structural components (inspect structural components in attic and crawlspace)
- Other systems (fireplace, garage door, HVAC)
An inspection is not a guarantee that the home you buy will be perfect.
A home inspection is different than a home warranty. Unless a home is being sold as-is, buyers will request repairs or a credit to make repairs after closing. Sellers are not required to make any repairs, so do not assume that a seller must fix or replace an item. Sellers are also not required by the contract or required by the buyer’s lender to bring any part of the house up to the current building code.
If you’re thinking about buying or selling in the coming months and want to know more, let’s chat!
Give me a call at 919-469-6539 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.