Before you buy a home, one of the things you should do is to have it checked out by a professional home inspector. Home inspections are used to provide an opportunity for a buyer to identify any major issues with a home prior to closing. In general, home inspectors do a very thorough job, examining things during a home inspection that most of us would never dream of looking at. After all, they have 1,600+ items on their inspection checklists. Still, despite that thoroughness, inspectors don’t and can’t look at everything. Here, then, is what a home inspection won’t tell you about a Shoreline property.
The inspector will check for areas where roof damage or poor installation could allow water to enter the home, such as loose, missing or improperly secured shingles and cracked or damaged mastic around vents. They will also check the condition of the gutters. Most of the time during the course of an inspection, the inspector will get up on the roof to take a look at shingles, flashing, gutters, and so on. But under certain conditions, inspectors won’t go up on the roof.
If a roof is not less than three stories high, if it is too steep, or if it is iced over, the inspector will likely not get up on the roof for a close look. So in a case like this, the home inspection may not reveal the true condition of the roof, which is a big-ticket item when it comes to repair and replacement. You may then have to hire another inspector who specializes in roof inspections.
Home inspections are mostly just what the name says: inspections of the actual home and not much else. Most of the time, inspections don’t extend to the ground underneath the home, that which supports the house. So if you have concerns about the structural integrity of the ground the home sits on – for example, whether it is shifting or tilting or has sinkholes or a high water table – then you will probably have to hire a geotechnical or structural engineer to make that determination. And they don’t come cheap: thorough and deeper soil investigations can run as much as $3,000 to $5,000.
All Electrical Outlets
The inspector will identify the kind of wiring the home has, test all the outlets and make sure there are functional ground fault circuit interrupters (which can protect you from electrocution, electric shock, and electrical burns) installed in areas like the bathrooms, kitchen, garage and outdoors. In general, what inspectors look at includes only those things that are easily observable and that they can easily access. So if there are electrical outlets behind heavy furniture, the inspector will probably not risk a back injury to look at them. In fact, it happens that inspectors don’t investigate an important item like an electrical panel if it is blocked by furniture or appliances.
Wells and Septic Systems
You would think that a home inspection in Shoreline would definitely include things as important as wells and septic systems. But that’s just not always the case – usually only if wells and septic systems are common in the area and then for an additional fee of about $150. Otherwise, separate inspections by qualified inspectors will be needed. Typically, a good inspection costs about $250, and a septic system inspection around $200. But these are usually not part of a standard home inspection.
Typically, a home inspection for a Shoreline property does not include swimming pools. The inspector may turn on pumps and heaters to see if they work, but, usually, the inspector does not evaluate the pool itself for, say, cracks and defects. If you want that done, you will have to hire a professional pool inspector at a cost of around $250.
Ensuring Faultless Properties
There are, then, quite a few things a home inspection won’t tell you about a Shoreline property. That leaves you with two basic options: shell out a bunch of money for the extra inspections or work with a real estate agency known for sound, faultless properties.