A Home Inspection Case Study – Part One

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Getting a home inspection is one of the most important aspects of the home buying process.  Many people don't understand how critical it is to get a home inspection, even if the house is brand-new.  Hiring a professional inspector, can save you thousands of dollars in hidden repair costs down the road, and can provide you peace of mind.  For that reason, I decided to tour a home with a professional home inspector and give you an inside look at all of the things that he or she is looking for.

Kitchen Basics

A home inspector will often start in the kitchen of the home.  He or she will check for major leaks in the kitchen plumbing by turning on the sink and then checking under the sink and then the crawl space.  An inspector will also check all the major appliances in the kitchen to insure that they are in working order, with the exception of the refrigerator.   He or she will also check for loose outlets and make sure that the proper GFCI protected outlets are in place.  GFCI outlets need to be anywhere that there is a water source such as on the exterior of the home, garage, kitchen, bathrooms and even in the laundry room if there is a sink.

Family Room 101

A home inspector will check all windows to make sure that they open and close properly.  If a home has dual pane windows, he or she will examine closely any signs of fog appearing between the window panes.  If fogging occurs, it could be a sign of a loose seal that would need to be corrected.  The inspector will also check the outlets to make sure that they are all operational.  If the home has a fireplace that has gas logs, he or she will attempt to light the gas logs to make sure that they are working.

Don't Forget the Bathrooms

Like the kitchen, bathrooms are another very important room on a home inspectors check list.    He or she needs to look at the outlets to ensure that they are GFCI protected.  An inspector will also check the sink, bathtub, and shower to insure that they are in proper working order and no leaks are found.  The toilet will also be examined to make sure that it flushes properly and is secured to the floor correctly.

Additional Items to be Inspected

Another important part of inspecting a home is looking at any temperature differentials between the air-conditioning returns and the closest register.  You want at least a 15 to 20° difference between the HVAC return and the closest register.  You should also check the air filter to make sure that it is clean and free of debris.

If there is an attic, your inspector can check for leaks and look to make sure that you have the proper insulation.

You should also look at the walls in the home to inspect them for cracks or nail pops.  Some of these things may just be cosmetic in nature, but always make note of them and ask your inspector.
Make sure to check that the home has smoke detectors as the code now requires that these alarms are in any sleeping rooms.

Exterior Items Are Important Too

When looking at the water heater, the inspector will check for capacity, temperature, and distance from the floor.  He or she will also study the breaker box to make sure that it has been wired to code.  To assist in this part of the home inspection, it is a good idea to clear any items away from the breaker box that could inhibit the inspector’s access to the panel such as shelving.

Finally, if there is a crawlspace outside the inspector will go under the home to check for standing water that could cause decay or mold.  A good tip is to keep the door to the crawlspace closed.  This will help deter any unwanted animals from getting under the home.

As you can see, there is a lot involved in order to properly inspect a home. This is why it is always recommend that you hire a professional home inspector to assist you during this process.  This will protect you from having unwanted and unwelcome surprise repairs after closing.  If you would like to chat about your real estate questions, give us a call today.


  1. An interesting video with good information. Is it possible to place a microphone on the inspector so he can be heard when he turns away from the camera?

  2. What a wonderful post. I have learnt so much from this blog.I like your blog.Thanks for the post.
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