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If you’re buying or selling a home, at some point you will have to have a home inspection done. Whether or not you’re months away from listing your home or if it’s already on the market, it’s important to consider what a home inspector will look for, what he/she will note as pros or cons to the property. Here’s a breakdown of what most inspectors look for.

Exterior

The first thing an inspector will notice is how your home compares to other homes in your neighborhood. They will consider if it has been taken care of, how the upkeep of the yard has been, etc. This can be a big indicator to how well the house has been taken care of over the years, whether or not the necessary maintenance has been done. They will compare your home to your neighbors to see if it appears that any additions have been made to your home, and whether or not the workmanship is to the level that the rest of the house is.

The inspector will walk around your house and property noting everything. They will take in the structure of your home, including windows, roof, chimneys, gutters, brick or wood features, doors, porches, foundation, flower beds, walkways, driveways, etc. They will look for sagging in the roof, signs of deterioration in shingles, anything that looks loose. They will check to make sure that the roof vent is visible. They will make sure the chimney is straight and upright, no bricks are missing and that the cap is intact and not broken.

They will check the walls or siding for loose paint or boards, if there are any missing sections or visible rot. On your gutters, they will check to make sure the downspouts are angled away from your foundation, and that your gutters are angled down correctly to the downspouts. Check your doors for peeling paint or caulking, or rotting wood or materials. Consider if your house has original windows and how old they are. They will check your decks, to make sure they were built correctly, and if all of the materials are holding up as they should. An inspector will note the foundation and look for any cracks that are visible, this will happen on the exterior and on the interior of the house, in the basement or crawl space.

The lot that your house is on will be checked too, is it sloping down away from the house? Have any areas settled near the foundation, and is the property higher or lower than the street or neighboring properties?

Interior

If your house has a basement or crawl space, that will be inspected as well. They will check for any evidence of water damage. Then the inspector will move throughout each floor of the house inspecting each room, wall, ceiling, appliances, like the furnace or hot water heater, plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets and more. They will note the mechanical systems that you have and also their condition. They will check tiling, floors, wall structures and dated appliances. The internal structure of your home will be considered, are the walls straight, are there any cracks visible in walls or floors?

Take Away

An inspector will look at everything, and we mean everything in your home. Some things that may harm you on your inspection, might not be avoidable, and they may not be problems that you can easily fix. It’s important to consider what they look for because it helps you know what to look for in a future property or what to maintain in your current home. If you’ve noticed your roof has been losing shingles, and you’re considering selling your home in a year or so, it may be much more beneficial to you to replace the roof or have work done. Rather than have an inspection score come back low, and damage your listing price or value, replace it now, and use it as a selling point.