Why do I need a home inspection? 

This article is authored by Matt Costa/Owner CHB Inspections

the original can be found by clicking the author's name


Before buying a home, one of the things you should do is to have the home checked out by a licensed, professional home inspector. Purchasing a home is often the largest investment you will ever make - why should you choose to add another expense to the process if you're not required to? Let me try to explain  why you shouldn't forgo this optional, yet important procedure.

A licensed home inspector is a professional who will conduct an inspection of the general condition of the home.  A good home inspection will assist a buyer in understanding exactly what they are about to acquire.  A home may look move in ready, but a professional home inspector will cover features of the house such as electrical wiring, plumbing, roofing, insulation, as well as structural features of the home and may unveil issues that are not noticeable to the buyer’s eye.  As a buyer, you are making a vast investment, and it is important to understand exactly what you are purchasing.  Having a licensed home inspector conduct a thorough inspection of the prospective property, could potentially save you thousands.  

The Home Inspection Contingency

Your first clue that a home inspection is important is that it can be used as a contingency in your purchase offer. This contingency provides that if significant defects are revealed by a home inspection, you can back out of your offer, free of penalty, within a certain timeframe. The potential problems a home can have must be pretty serious if they could allow you to walk away from such a significant contract.

What does a Home Inspection examine? 

Structure: A home’s skeleton impacts how the property stands up to weather, gravity, and the earth. Structural components, including the foundation and the framing, will be inspected.

Exterior: We will inspect sidewalks, driveways, steps, windows, and doors. A home’s siding, trim, and surface drainage also are part of an exterior inspection. Attached porches, decks, and balconies

Roofing: A well-maintained roof protects you from rain, snow, and other forces of nature. We will note the roof’s approximate  age, conditions of flashing, roof draining systems (pooling water), buckled shingles, loose gutters and downspouts, skylight, and chimneys.

Plumbing: We examine the visible water supply and drainage systems, water heating equipment, and fuel storage systems. Drainage pumps and sump pumps also fall under this category. Poor water pressure, banging pipes, rust spots, or corrosion can indicate problems.

Electrical: Safe electrical wiring is essential. We look at the condition of service entrance wires, service panels, breakers and fuses, and disconnects and outlets.

Heating: The home’s heating system, vent system, flues, and chimneys are inspected. We check the age, the size, and condition of the water heater.

Air Conditioning: Central air conditioning systems are inspected.

Interiors: An inspection of the inside of the home includes: Walls, ceilings, floors, Steps, stairways and railings, countertops and cabinets

Ventilation/insulation: We check for adequate insulation and ventilation in the attic and in unfinished areas such as crawlspaces, as well as properly secured insulation.  Excess moisture in the home can lead to mold and water damage.

Fireplaces: They’re charming, but they could be dangerous if not properly installed and maintained. We check these out for you!

Garages: Garage door systems, electrical systems, roof, exterior and interiors

All of this is contained in a comprehensive report which we here at CHB Inspections electronically deliver to you the next day.

The Bottom Line

A home inspection will cost you a little bit of time and money, but in the long run you'll be glad you did it. The inspection can reveal problems that you may be able to get the current owners to fix before you move in, saving you time and money. If you are a first-time homebuyer, an inspection can give you a crash course in home maintenance and a checklist of items that need attention to make your home as safe and sound as possible. Don't skip this important step in the home-buying process - it's worth every penny.