A home inspection doesn’t just provide you with a list of problems to negotiate with the seller to have fixed or something catastrophic that may cause you back out of the deal altogether. It will provide you a detailed report that is something of a “new owner’s manual” for the home. It is your opportunity to learn the exact condition of the house including maintenance tips and schedules you should follow.
Most inspectors, at a minimum, will invite you and your agent for a walk-through with them at the end of the inspection. You can ask to attend the entire inspection if you wish. If this is the case plan on being there for several hours. Your inspector should explain your home’s systems and give you maintenance tips. Those should also be in the final report, along with pictures. But hearing and seeing it in person is helpful. You may want to begin preparing for your inspection by making a list of things to ask you inspector about when you initially tour the home with your realtor. The inspector can then pay special attention to these areas. There are many home inspection check lists available online that could be helpful with this.
Seller’s disclosure statements are also a useful tool in helping you pinpoint particular areas you would like your inspector to look at. For example if they disclosed that they had a previous roof leak repaired, make sure that gets some extra attention from your inspector. Another thing you should look for is weather any unpermitted work has been done on the house. Unpermitted work such as plumbing and electrical should be carefully inspected. You might also have your realtor ask if there are any previous inspection reports available for the home.
Depending on the age and location of the property there are other specialized inspections you may want to consider. A few of them are; Sewer Scopes, Radon Tests, Mold Tests, Pest Inspections and Meth Lab Testing.