Buyers – Home Inspection Checklist of Items Needing Service or Repair
As a home inspector our reports do not describe the condition of every component if it’s in excellent shape, but it should note every item that is defective or in need service. Our home inspection checklist can help with this. A list of potentially serious problems are:
- Safety and health issues
- Foundation deficiencies
- Building structure deficiencies
- Roofs that indicate a short life expectancy
- Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) malfunctions or that are inoperable
- Moisture / drainage issues
- For other inspected items see What is Inspected for more details.
Home Inspection Checklist Items Sellers Should Fix
If you have a choice, it might be smarter to hire your own contractors and supervise repairs. Before issuing a formal repair request, consider the seller’s incentive to hire the cheapest contractor and to replace appliances with the least expensive brands. A better option may be to agree on a cost to repair or replace an item and reduce the offer accordingly. Then you chose the quality of work or replacement item of your choice for your new home.
Although most home inspectors are reluctant to and, in some cases, refuse to disclose repair costs (me included), call a contractor to determine the scope and expense to fix minor problems yourself. No home is perfect. Every home will have issues noted or flagged in a home inspection, even new homes.
A first time home buyer may see a repair or defect and see it as a deal breaker resulting in a cancelled contract. That same issue may not faze a home buyer versed in home repair. Talk to your agent, family and friends, then call a few contractors to discuss which types of defects are minor. The solution may be as simple as replacing a $1.99 receptacle, which can resolve many outlet problems.
Don’t let anyone convince you that you don’t need a home inspection, its money well spent and a very minor part of the home buying costs. Some buyers feel a home inspection is unnecessary, especially if they are buying a new construction. If a light switch doesn’t work or the air conditioner blows out hot air, those are problems you can see and test. The problems that aren’t readily identifiable to you such as safety issues, a loose breaker wire, a furnace that leaks carbon monoxide or a failing chimney, are the types of defects a home inspector could identify even in a new home. Contractors for builders make mistakes, too.