The Basics of Home Inspection

When buying a home, one part of the process is to have a home inspector check it out for any problems. North Carolina home inspectors evaluate the systems in your home, including plumbing, the attic, basement, roof, and more. They provide a report so that you know what you’re buying and what condition it’s in.

While it’s not legally required, it’s important that you hire a home inspector. Although you will be responsible for the cost, you do not want to rely on a seller to provide you with information about the home. Even if he or she is honest, the inspector may find things the seller does not know.

What to Expect
According to the North Carolina Real Estate Commission, an inspection is not an appraisal and does not guarantee that the home complies with building codes. They also warn that no home inspection should be considered a “technically exhaustive” evaluation.

Still, the best home inspectors are going to do a thorough examination of the home and tell you all sorts of things you didn’t know. In fact, when you’re scheduling an appointment, plan for at least a couple of hours.

Here are just some of the things a home inspector will normally check. (Note: this is not a comprehensive list.)

  • Grounds – Including driveway, porches, steps, fences, retaining walls.
  • Exterior – Basement/crawlspace/slabs, finish, siding, chimney, gutters, windows.
  • Foundation – Joists, vents, type of insulation, HVAC, wiring.
  • Attic – Access, trusts, ventilation, HVAC, wiring, insulation.
  • Electrical – Outlets, fixtures, GFCIs, grounding.
  • Plumbing – Lines, leaks, flow, drains, disposal.
  • Interior – Walls, doors, floors, fireplace, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Bathrooms – All plumbing and electrical, drain operations, vents.
  • Kitchens – Appliances, anti-tip devices, ventilation, cabinets.

What to Ask a Home Inspector

North Carolina home inspectors are licensed by the North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Board. Before you hire someone, sure to ask if he or she is licensed. You can search their database to confirm.

Also, it’s important to know that North Carolina home inspectors are not required to report on wood-destroying insects (termites), environmental contamination, pools, spas, detached structures, or cosmetic issues. Some will cover those areas, however, so it’s important to ask about those items if necessary. In North Carolina, it is recommended that you check for termites and consider a termite protection plan.

Your real estate agent may recommend a home inspector, but you can also find them through your network of friends or online.

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