What are the best home inspection tips? Should you hire a home inspector? If you are new to buying a home or even if you have purchased homes in the past, it’s always easy to overlook a problem. Even professional home flippers make mistakes and find unknown problems after closing. But if you take the time to do a pre-inspection before you make an offer, you can save yourself lots of time and money.
Before you look at a house, you should arrive earlier than the Realtor and drive the neighborhood. Look carefully at the conditions of the homes in the neighborhood. Take a street photo as well as a picture of the exterior of the house you are looking at. If you look at a lot of houses, a digital photo will help you keep clear in your mind what the good and poor aspects of this house are.
Remember to bring a flashlight with you. Often empty homes do not have utilities and some areas of the house do not have adequate lighting to inspect fully.
Here’s my list of the best home inspection tips:
- Inspect the roof carefully for worn or curly shingles. A worn roof can cause lots of problems inside that you might not see if water has infiltrated the structure and mold has built up.
- Look at the foundation walls carefully for cracks or signs of poor drainage. Foundation problems can be either a big red flag or an opportunity to get a really low price from the seller.
- Look for stains on the ceilings – this could be another sign of roof problems
- Check the windows for proper operation and signs of rot. Does it look as if they are allowing lots of air infiltration. If they are double pane windows, is there moisture between the two layers of glass?
- If there is a crawl space or basement look for telltale signs of termites. A pocket knife can help you check how solid the wood is.
Once you have made an offer on a house it is a good idea to hire an home inspector. I’ve used home inspectors to learn the skills needed to be able to do a pretty thorough inspection.