If you are currently in the real estate market for a new house, you might come across a house that seems perfect. However, just because it looks perfect from the outside, doesn't mean you should assume everything is in good working order. A house inspection is essential when buying a house and often preferred before you even put in an offer. Here are some important areas of a home that need to be inspected.
One area of the home you need to inspect that many people forget about is inside all the cabinets. This includes all upper and lower cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms of the home. The cabinets can tell you a lot about potential problems, including possible mold and mildew, and water leaks. If you notice wet areas and a musty smell underneath the bathroom or kitchen sink, there is likely a leak or there was one previously. If the kitchen pantry and upper cabinets have droppings or any type of odd substance, insects and rodents are probably an issue there.
Basement and Attic
Any house that has a basement and/or attic also needs to have these spaces inspected thoroughly. Both the attic and basement can have quite a few hidden problems you don't want to ignore. In the attic, you not only need to check for rodents and insects, but it also allows you to check out the roofing structure and make sure there is good ventilation. In the basement you need to be on the lookout for extra moisture, water spots, or mold and mildew. This is often where a lot of plumbing leaks occur, so it is a great way to check out the condition of the home's plumbing system.
Windows and Doors
Don't forget to inspect all windows and doors of the home. You are looking for the overall condition and structure, along with possible issues like cracked windows, failing window seals, or lack of good weatherstripping. If you feel a draft when placing your hand over the windows in the house, there is probably an issue with the seal or there are gaps around the window that need to be addressed. These types of issues can create problems with losing air and heat while running the HVAC system.
The roof of a house is more important than you might think. Have the inspector check the roofing system, not ignoring the gutters and downspouts. You want to be sure the roofing materials are in good condition, that there isn't rusting of the flashing, and that the gutters are clear and working properly as well. Look for signs of problems with the roof, such as a bent downspout that might mean it is difficult to drain rainwater properly.