Charlie Glahe WIN Broomfield

What to know about a home inspection


Problems with houses aren't just on the surface. In fact, all properties - from 100 year old homes to new construction - can have many hidden defects. Therefore, all buyers and sellers should have a property inspection completed before committing to a deal.

For some, this step could be quite stressful. However, this doesn't need to be the case. Overall, the process is relatively simple, and a licensed home inspection professional can be a lifesaver for many. Instead of ending up with a new house fraught with problems, a knowledgeable inspector can identify costly repairs and shed some light on real estate.

The ins and outs of a home inspection
Homeowners should be prepared before calling in an inspector. While little should be done in terms of repairs and maintenance, the process isn't optional. An educated resident can make it all go smoother and end up with fewer headaches after it is all done.

According to Christine Bilger, in an blog post for Zing by Quicken Loans, no house is in perfect condition. On the contrary, even brand new construction has its fair share of problems. A home inspection shouldn't be for old real estate only - it can also be a crucial step before buying brand new construction.

Jerry Lootens, a former builder and roofing contractor and current Michigan-based home inspection professional, explained to Bilger about the many problems he's seen while on the job. For one new home, Lootens found more than 300 mistakes, and ended up convincing the buyer to walk away. If that person opted to skip this step, they would have bought a house that would have had many costly, hard-to-fix problems.

Lootens also told Bilger that an experienced inspector is a must. These professionals will provide an inspector's report after it's all done, which can then be used to negotiate a buying offer or request seller concessions. Additionally, buyers never want to end up with a property full of  expensive concerns, and the cost of a home inspection is worth it overall.

Typical problems found during an inspection
All property inspections - and houses - are different. However, many inspectors often find similar problems from home to home. Oftentimes, buyers fall in love with the place and aren't willing to look past the charm and find the expensive problems, according to Newsday. This is why an inspector can help.

For example, one common problem area could be a deck, the news source noted. Inspectors will often look at the spacing between railings, which have to be no more than 4 inches apart. Also, they'll take a look at how the structure is attached to home and if any nails or screws are exposed. Another element that is frequently overlooked is the permit. Not enough homeowners get permission to build a deck beforehand, which is something buyers should definitely watch out for.

In addition, some homes have skylights. These features are attractive, but they will often leak. A home inspection can find out where there are problems, and which ones need some extra attention. All skylights need a step-flashing unit and an ice membrane to keep out moisture, and fog can be an indication of a fault.

In order to have a safe, secure home, owners should always have an inspection completed. The same goes for buyers and sellers, since all real estate needs some routine maintenance and attention. This step can provide excellent insight into a house, and the process should take place both inside and outside. After the inspection is complete, the report will become a valuable asset for all future transactions or repairs.