Home buyers beware. What you won't find out in a home inspection!
Before I give you the list of things that you won't find out in a home inspection, let me give you a quick rundown of the things you'll find out when going through a home with a home inspector.
Overall condition of the home
This is a good way to walk through the home with a home inspector to get an understanding of how things work in the house, for him or her to point out any issues they might see, and then also get an idea of the maintenance that you should be doing on a regular basis.
Now, keep in mind what the inspector can see is what's outside the walls, which is what's visual to them. They cannot poke holes through the drywall. They can't take things apart, because ultimately the home does not belong to you, the home buyer, yet. It still belongs to the seller and they cannot do anything that is intrusive to the property.
Here's a list of things they will go through in a home inspection.
They will check the outlets to make sure they're grounded. However, they can't look behind the walls to see if there is any knob-and-tube, if there's any aluminum wiring in the electrical system.
They will check the faucets, the water pressure and check to make sure things are not leaking, but again, they can't look behind the walls to see if there is any type of issues that are not visible to the home inspector.
They will take a look at the mechanical room to verify the age of the furnace, the AC, the water tank, and they'll note all that plus anything they might see when taking a look at these three items.
They'll walk around the house to look at the structure, if there are any cracks in the brick or the concrete, evidence of water coming into the house, they'll point out all these things. They'll also look at the grading to make sure that you have proper grading around the house, when it rains or when the snow melts the water goes away from the foundation as opposed to towards the house foundation, which is not good in the longterm.
If they have access to the attic, they'll get up there. They'll take a peek and note the attic installation, if there is any evidence of mold in the roof sheeting and anything they might be able to see up there.
Here's the list of things that you will not find out in a home inspection. It depends when you're doing the home inspection. If you bought a house in the winter, the inspector will not be able to take a look at the roof because it's no snow covered or there could be ice and it's very dangerous for them to get up and take a look at the roof. At the same time, if it's in the winter, it's difficult for them to test the AC because again the furnace is on and they don't want to turn on the AC. On the flip side, if you've bought a house in the summer or spring, they can take a look at the roof, they can take a look at the AC and inspect it, but they will not turn on the furnace because that could potentially damage the furnace. Keep that in mind depending on when you're buying the house and the time of year it is.
Another example of things that you won't find out is again behind the wall. As I mentioned earlier if there's aluminum electrical wiring, if there's knob-and-tube, they can't see that. The type of plumbing, the piping behind the walls, they can’t see that. Those are some of the things that they will not be able to note in their home inspection as you go through the house with the home inspector.
Now, I believe strongly in doing a home inspection. It gives a sense of understanding to the potential home buyer of how the house works, what are the issues, and a good understanding of the maintenance that they should be doing on a regular basis once they take possession of the home.
What do you think of home inspections? Make sure to leave a comment and let me know your thoughts. I will also put a link to the home maintenance manual, which will give you a detailed breakdown of the things you should be doing on a quarterly basis, on a seasonal basis, on a monthly basis from a maintenance perspective.
Until next time, happy home hunting!