Before signing that residential property contract, make sure that the home inspection did not overlook some problems with your hopefully soon-to-be-new home. A home inspection is required for any house that is put up for sale, and the seller is required to make the necessary repairs. You would not want to later discover some hidden problems that will cost you more than what you are prepared to spend on your new home.
No matter how good a home inspector is, there are still problems with the house that he might overlook, simply because they are not covered by the standard contract. You have to understand that different parts of a house – the roof, walls, floors, plumbing, and electricity among many others – were worked on different people with different specialties. So a genuinely thorough inspection will mean separate inspections of these systems by the right professionals.
But knowing beforehand the most common things that are missed during a home inspection can help you minimize, if not totally avoid, future problems that you might come across after you move into your new home. You can ask the home inspector, or have the right specialist, to specifically check the following:
Leaky roofs are the number one home problem that is usually missed by a home inspector. This is because the inspector is not required to actually go up on the roof, on his hands and knees to check for damage. He can simply do his inspection from the ground, using binoculars; or from a higher level window, to inspect the lower roof.
Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) System Glitches
A typical HVAC system inspection only involves testing if the heating and ac systems work when they are turned on. These systems are not specifically scanned for any internal and technical problems, mostly because a technician avoids test-running an AC unit if the weather is extremely cold, or the heating unit if the weather is extremely hot, to avoid any liability should the units break down during testing or much later, after the new homeowners move in.
As with the HVAC units, defective appliances, if there are any, are not immediately discovered because only a cursory inspection is done – turning them on and off. The problem usually only emerges after an appliance has been in use regularly and for a prolonged period.
Busted Windows and Siding
Unfortunately, windows and siding are not included in a standard home inspection contract. You will have to specifically ask the seller to have these checked, so they can shoulder the repairs if they are needed.
Carpet-covered Floors and Walls
The standard home inspection contract also only covers aspects of a house that are in plain view. So if there are problems with the flooring under the carpet, or parts of a wall covered by wallpaper, these will be easily missed by an inspector. Ask the seller for permission to have these covered structures uncovered and checked.
Do not let hidden problems ruin the great experience of being in a new home, settling down, and becoming comfortable, after days of putting everything in order. While you may have to spend extra to have the right professionals check specific parts/systems of the house, you will end up saving more in the long run when you avoid making these hidden problems worse.