Before closing that deal and signing those papers, a proper home inspection is standard operating procedure. This is the best way to make sure that the house is safe and structurally sound, and that you won’t encounter surprises that will require you to spend a lot more money than what you bargained for.
Keep in mind, though, that even the most experienced, qualified, and highly-recommended home inspector is not a guarantee that you will not encounter a problem in your new house after you have already moved in. A house is made up of multiple systems – roofing, plumbing, electrical, foundations, among others – and each of these was completed by an appropriate specialist; this means an extensively thorough inspection of each of these systems can only be done by the same specialists. And there are home problems that are not readily noticeable.
So without coming off as an annoying and fussy know-it-all, you may want to ensure that your highly qualified home inspector does not overlook any of the following problems that are commonly missed during home inspections; or you may want to hire the appropriate specialists/professionals to check separate systems.
This is the most commonly missed house problem during an inspection. Home inspectors are only required to do a cursory check of the roof using binoculars, or through higher level windows to check the roofing below. The main roof of the house is not thoroughly inspected for torn/missing shingles or popped nails.
Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) System Glitches
HVAC system glitches might be missed by home inspectors because most technicians avoid running the units in adverse conditions – the AC in extreme cold or the heating when the weather is too hot – as doing so might cause damage to the units, especially if the units are not brand new. If the units do end up breaking down even a few days later, after the new homeowners have moved in, the technicians wouldn’t want to be held liable for the damages.
Home inspectors only check if all major appliances work properly when turned on. They do check for refrigerator leaks, an overheating dryer, or a malfunctioning food disposal unit, to name a few. But a complete diagnostic test of every appliance is not required. So defects that often appear after an appliance has been used repeatedly or for a certain amount of time are usually missed.
Busted Windows and Siding
Home inspections only cover major systems of the house, such as the plumbing and electric, and the seller is required to fix any problems discovered in these systems. Other problems, such as damaged windows and siding, that are not covered by the home inspection contract are often taken for granted. As the buyer, you can still have these checked and ask the seller to pay for the repairs.
Carpet-covered Floors and Walls
The aspects of a home that are not in plain sight are not inspected, unless the buyer has the seller’s approval for the home inspector to look behind the carpeting and other affixed facades.
When you find the perfect house to buy for your family, the experience will, of course, be exciting and overwhelming – so much so that you may overlook many structural and/or aesthetic problems that the seller or real estate agent will obviously not point out. The responsible thing to do, as a future homeowner, is to get the home inspected by licensed/certified professionals.