As a home buyer in Seattle WA, you have quite a lot on your plate. Making sure that your new house is not hiding any serious problems and that you don’t overpay for it are top concerns for every home buyer. Luckily, you don’t have to do everything alone. There are several types of home inspections that buyers can opt-in for, according to their needs.
The Essential Types of Home Inspections Every Buyer Needs
The right home inspection can save you a lot of money and a lot of hassle in the near future. Take a look at the main types of home inspections that you can choose from. Keep in mind, for your own safety, it is advisable to opt for as many of them as your inspector recommends.
1. Full Residential Inspection
This type of home inspection entails a thorough review of every structural part of the house (roof, the visible part of the insulation, attic, walls, floors, ceilings, basement, foundation, doors and windows). If you opt-in for this inspection, you will also receive a report listing any problematic areas of the house, such as: electrical systems, heating system, interior plumbing, central AC system, gutters, ventilation, decks, and fireplaces.
Any structural and safety concerns will be clearly outlined in your inspector’s report. Most home buyers do opt for this all-encompassing type of inspection.
2. Major Systems Inspection
If you want to make sure that the home you are planning to buy won’t require any major investments in the next couple of years, this detailed inspection is exactly what you need. The inspector will pay close attention to all the major systems in the house; starting with the roof and attic, followed by the plumbing, heating and cooling systems, and the electrical systems.
If anything works poorly or is in need of repair or replacement, you will be notified in a detailed inspection report. The report also includes recommendations and price estimates.
3. New Construction Phase Inspections
Many things can go wrong when building a new home. This type of home inspection ensures that you know about all of them as they happen. Ideally, you should book the inspection in the early stages of the construction so you can take full advantage of all the services.
The inspection has three phases, each of them focusing on a key area:
- Foundation and drainage – the inspection takes place prior to backfill.
- Framing – the inspection takes place prior to drywall installation so the inspector is able to check the heating, plumbing and electrical systems.
- Complete home inspection – an overview that takes place when the home is completed.
4. Mold Testing Inspection
Mold is a serious concern for the Pacific Northwest residents. Besides contributing to the decay of the home, mold can also cause serious health issues (like: respiratory and sinus issues, skin rashes, headaches, flu like symptoms) or exacerbate existing ones.
This type of inspection is, perhaps, the most important one. A buyer should book this type of inspection if there is any reason to suspect the presence of mold.
A good home inspector will go beyond a visual assessment when inspecting for mold. Ideally, air quality samples and swab tests should be taken both indoor and outdoor. The samples should be sent to certified laboratory that can determine the level of mold spores. This is the only fail-proof way to ensure you will have no mold issues in the upcoming years.
5. Thermal Imaging Inspection
Among all the types of home inspections that buyers can opt for, this is the most thorough and advanced, as it can reveal all the hidden problems that the naked eye would never be able to spot.
This inspection relies on infrared technology to show buyers any potential hidden problems lurking behind the home’s walls. Some of the most common findings during a thermal imaging inspection are:
- Plumbing and roof leaks that cannot be spotted yet, but are bound to cause serious issues if left unsolved.
- Wet, missing or damaged insulation – a problem that aggravates quickly.
- Moisture and water infiltrations around key areas like the building envelope and the foundation – this issue can cause structural damage.
- Circuit breakers that need to be replaced immediately.
- Electrical faults that represent fire hazards.
- Flue leaks that can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Problematic circuits (overloaded and undersized ones).
- Overstrained electrical equipment.
When it comes to buying a home in Seattle WA, it’s always advisable to know all there is to know about it before signing on the dotted line. Buyers’ budgets aren’t unlimited and the right home inspection performed at the right time can help you fall within your estimates and prevent you from being scammed.