Some items should always be examined.
The home’s “skeleton” should be able to stand up to weather, gravity, and the earth that surrounds it. Structural components include items such as the foundation and the framing.
The inspector should look at sidewalks, driveways, steps, windows, doors, siding, trim, and surface drainage. They should also examine any attached porches, decks, and balconies.
A good inspector will provide very important information about your roof, including its age, roof draining systems, buckled shingles, and loose gutters and downspouts. They should also inform you of the condition of any skylights and chimneys as well as the potential for pooling water.
They should thoroughly examine the water supply and drainage systems, water heating equipment, and fuel storage systems. Drainage pumps and sump pumps also fall under this category. Poor water pressure, banging pipes, rust spots, or corrosion can indicate larger problems.
You should be informed of the condition of service entrance wires, service panels, breakers and fuses, and disconnects. Also take note of the number of outlets in each room.
Heating and air conditioning
The home’s vents, flues, and chimneys should be inspected. The inspector should be able to tell you the water heater’s age, its energy rating, and whether the size is adequate for the house. They should also describe and inspect all the central air and through-wall cooling equipment.
Your inspector should take a close look at walls, ceilings and floors; steps, stairways, and railings; countertops and cabinets; and garage systems. These areas can reveal leaks, insect damage, rot, construction defects, and more.
Inspectors should check for adequate insulation and ventilation in the attic and in unfinished areas such as crawl spaces. Insulation should be appropriate for the climate. Without proper ventilation, excess moisture can lead to mold and water damage.
They’re charming, but fireplaces can be dangerous if they’re not properly installed. Inspectors should examine the vent and flue, and describe solid fuel-burning appliances.
Home Warranty FAQ’s
What is a home warranty?
The standard home warranty is a one-year service contract that protects a resale home buyer or current homeowner against the cost of unexpected repairs or replacement of major systems and appliances that break down due to normal usage. Coverage is also available to home sellers during the listing and escrow period to help them keep unforeseen breakdowns from potentially delaying the close of sale.
Checklist: Prepare for Your Move
Update your mailing address at usps.com or fill out a change-of-address form at your local post office.
Change your address with important service providers, such as your bank(s), credit companies, magazine subscriptions, and others.
Create a list of people who will need your new address. Whether you plan on sending formal change-of-address notices in the mail or just e-mailing the family members, friends, and colleagues who should be informed, a list will ensure no one gets left out.
Contact utility companies. Make sure they’re aware of your move date, and arrange for service at your new home if the service provider will remain the same.
Check insurance coverage. The insurance your moving company provides will generally only cover the items they transport for you. Ensure you have coverage for any items you’ll be moving yourself.
Unplug, disassemble, and clean out appliances. This will make them easier to pack, move, and plug in at your new place.
Check with the condo board or HOA about any restrictions on using the elevator or particular exits or entrances for moving, if applicable
Pack an “Open First” box. Include items you’ll need most, such as toilet paper, soap, trash bags, chargers, box cutters, scissors, hammer, screwdriver, pens and paper, cups and plates, water, snacks, towels, and basic toiletries.
If you’re moving a long distance:
Obtain copies of important records from your doctor, dentist, pharmacy, veterinarian, and children’s schools.
E-mail a copy of your driving route to a family member or friend.
The Final Walk-Through
Closing time is hectic, but you should always make time for a final walk-through to make sure
that your home is in the same condition you expected it would be. Here’s a detailed list of
what to check for on your final walk-through.
- Basement, attic, and every room, closet, and crawl space have been checked.
- Requested repairs have been made.
- Copies of paid bills and warranties are in hand.
- No major, unexpected changes have been made to the property since last viewed.
- All items included in the sale price—draperies, lighting fixtures, etc.—are still on site.
- Screens and storm windows are in place or stored onsite.
- All appliances are operating (dishwasher, washer/dryer, oven, etc.).
- Intercom, doorbell, and alarm are operational.
- Hot water heater is working.
- Heating and air conditioning systems are working.
- No plants or shrubs have been removed from the yard.
- Garage door opener and other remotes are available.
- Instruction books and warranties on appliances and fixtures are available.
- All debris and personal items of the sellers have been removed.