Inspecting a House | New Homes Market Center

Step 5. Order Home Inspections

The appraiser establishes the value of the property compared to other properties recently sold in the area and notes any problems serious enough that will be required by the lender to repair before closing. You will order home inspections in accordance with the deadlines in the contract and should plan on attending the inspection, which is the perfect opportunity to ask questions about the property.

If you are building a new home, you have two options: you may order construction phase inspection from a third party inspector or you can rely on the city inspections to work with builder’s construction crew to complete the requirements on the new home. You will have more protection if you hire your own inspector during the construction phase.

Checking the following items yourself when inspecting a house or looking at different existing or completed properties can help you find a home that will only require a few, if any, repairs:

  • What is your overall impression? Is the house well kept?
  • Are the outside walls straight? What is the condition of the paint?
  • How does the roof look?
    • A tar and gravel roof should last up to 15 years; asphalt shingle, 15-20; wood shingles, 15-20; and wood shakes, 20-25.
  • Is the wood decayed on windows or door frames?
  • Have cracks been filled in on pavement, driveways, or horizontal brick surfaces? Is there damage from freezing?
  • Is the attic insulation adequate?
  • Does the plumbing function properly?
    • Turn on the bathroom sink faucet and the shower, and flush the toilet. Fill the sinks and tubs with about three inches of water to see if they drain correctly.
  • Do you see any signs of leaks, water stains, or cracked plaster in the interior of the house?
  • Does the house have termites?
  • Are fuse boxes/circuit breakers labeled correctly?
    • Open the cabinet door to the fuse boxes or circuit breakers, but do not remove the panel cover – the average house requires 100-amp service at both 110 and 220 volts.
  • How old is the heating equipment? Has it been well maintained?

The inspector will examine the structure and systems of the property as specified by you, recommend appropriate repairs, and point out potential maintenance problems. The seller’s agent notifies the seller of any required repairs in accordance with the contract. You’re on track now to Close On Your Loan.

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