Last Updated on December 25, 2020 by Chandler Bing
//This blog is updated in 2021//
Are you planning on moving to a different apartment? Have you find the apartment you want to move into? If so have you gone through a home inspection checklist before purchasing your new apartment? If not, make sure you mark it as the number one task on your to do list before you sign the papers! Otherwise, you might find out the hard way that you have bought and moved into a house that has multiple problems and is not the perfect dream home you have envisioned it to be. Instead you might find yourself trapped in a ‘living hell’ while still having a mortgage to pay. But lets face it, home inspection is not a familiar idea to most of us so it is not uncommon for us to forget about it, in the least many find the process very cumbersome and it is a tedious and technical process. Which is why you should read this home inspection guide as it will come in handy. We will help you break down the home inspection process into manageable tasks and save you from all the trouble!
Are Home inspection required?
First thing first, why do we need to conduct home inspection? Traditionally with home inspection, a qualified home inspector will be hired to assess a property for all its systems to see its condition such as its electrical work, water and sewage, foundation, heating and cooling systems conditions and other areas of interest to the home inspector. To cut to the chase, home inspection is essentially about examining a property’s condition, providing you with a report on any unsatisfactory areas and improvements to be made. Therefore, while hiring home inspector might drive up the cost initially it is an absolutely essential part of the home purchasing process. Not only will the report notify you of the condition of the house but it will also let you know of any areas that are of problem and can be potentially hazardous even. This can also help you mentally prepare for the potential cost you will have to invest in to make sure the house is in top condition and know that the property is in a healthy condition. While it means you might have a bit less budget left to renovate the interior into your ultimate dream house it is absolutely more important to make sure no pipes leak and all the electric outlets are working properly so you don’t wake up in a dark house and a flooded kitchen.
How to do a home inspection yourself?
Another common question about home inspection is whether I must hire a consultant to do the work for me, or can we do it ourselves? While it is true that a home inspector is a professional at his or her job and it is the most common way to conduct home inspection by hiring a professional. The truth is there is nobody to stop you from doing th job yourself and it is possible to perform home inspection on your own as long as you don’t mind the extra work and have a keen eye for detail. But because there are quite a few uniform standards in home inspection, we have compiled a checklist for those who want to try DIY home inspection. This checklist covers the thirteen categories of home inspection, just to list a few they include the water and electricity supply, the walls, doors and outdoor area. Do note that this guide is created mainly targeting home owners with apartments instead of houses. You can find the download link of Home Inspection Checklist at the end of the article.
Points to note for inspecting old or second-hand properties
Many people love living in old apartments due to practicalities and budget requirements. Buying and living in an old apartment might give you many different advantages like high ceiling room, outdoor spaces, more affordable price and for some old homes give the hard to duplicate vintage qualities. But what are some of the potential problems to look out for when buying an old apartment? Here are four potential problem areas to pay special attention to:
Old or Substandard Electrical and Plumbing
Things age and deteriorate as time goes on and electric and plumbing systems is definitely one of the areas that needs to be paid special attention to make sure the house is safe to live in. Faulty electrical and plumbing systems can pose safety risks, since corroded pipes can cause leaks and weak water flow, and old electricity system can potentially lead to a fire. It is of great importance to identify these potentially problematic wires and replace them beforehand. So you might have to rewire or update the plumbing after evaluating the age of the wiring and pipes. It is also much easier to replace these pipes while you renovate and decorate the interior instead of finding out problems after you move in and have to repair it.
Roof Leaks and Moisture
If the older home that you are purchasing has plaster walls, and you see evidence of moisture or staining, ask your inspector or check where the source is located. Since moisture can damage many kinds of materials found in homes including the concrete, which could cause paint peel, corrosion or health concerns. So this is also another key area to look out for and if there are areas with moisture seeping through it is important to block the source so it does not cause further damage in the future, as water damage can damage and weaken the building’s structure if there is prolong water seeping problem the house can be rendered unsafe to live in. So please be aware and remember to ask questions about the drainage or the cost to repair it.
Foundation or Structural Concerns
Cracks or unevenness in the foundation are more common in older homes. Which is why when you are inspecting an older home, always check for visible wall cracks, uneven floors, and doors and windows that can jam easily. Since foundation repairs can usually be costly you can also consider negotiating the repair costs or lowering the price of the flat in order to plan for the extra costs before purchasing an older home with foundation problems.
Lead and asbestos are some of the hazardous materials that are likely to be found in older homes due to lack of regulations in old times or popularity of certain hazardous materials like asbestos because of their perceive usefulness but lack of knowledge to their potential safety and health risks. These hazardous materials can cause significant health issues and can be found within plumbing systems, gas fireplaces, wall paints, and roofing etc. So if you are thinking about purchasing a home built before 1978, you should be aware of these potential problems and remove any lead paint, popcorn ceilings and other materials that could contain hazardous materials. Tests can be conducted by taking samples to see if paints or materials contain lead or other harmful materials. If these harmful substances are found it should be removed as soon as possible and with the correct precautions and care. It would be recommended to find professionals in this case to take care of the materials and dispose of them safely to avoid harming the environment as well.
These are just a few of the potential areas to be aware of when inspecting an older home, and it is true that older homes do contain more potential problematic areas or even hazardous areas as compared to new homes. If you do not feel confident doing the inspection yourself, you can always look for accredited affiliations or talk to your real estate professional and have them recommend a qualified home inspector. After all these are professionals that have a keen eye for details and knows what they are doing. At archiparti, we have a list of accredited affiliations that you can work with, so contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want extra help.
What about inspection of new properties?
You might wonder whether you should get a home inspection on your clean and perfect brand new home. The answer is definitely YES! Even new homes can have defects especially when nowadays developers tries their best to make more profit by cutting corners so it is important to make sure you inspect the home thoroughly before moving in. While there are certain defects that only a professional and qualified inspector can detect if you decide to take on the task yourself there are still ways you can accomplish it. Here are some tips for inspecting new apartments:
It is easy to forget to inspect the exterior of the house as one lives in the interior and most of the times we don’t even see the outside of the house. However the exterior of the house is just as important as the interior of the house as it provides the first barrier to the elements and there are problems with this first level of defense in the long run it can lead to much bigger problems. Areas that should be paid attention to include the following:
- Window and Doors: Ensure they can be tightly sealed, and also open and close completely as well as smoothly.
- Exterior painting: Check whether the surface of the exterior trim paint is smooth and fully covered.
- After inspecting the exterior now comes the meat of the inspection, the interior. This is the space you might be living for decades so pay a lot of attention when going through the interior of the house.
- Appliances: Many flats purchases now come with the flat fully furnished. If you are purchasing one of these flats make sure to inspect all 100% of the appliances and turn on all appliances to test whether they are functioning well. As many newly built homes come with full utilities. You can do so by operating all electrical, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems throughout the home and check whether they are properly installed.
- Water leakage: Inspect for moisture intrusion throughout your home. Normally, the moisture will enter through roof, terrace and windows. But there is also a chance that moisture will enter from ground water. Therefore, for lower apartment residents, don’t forget to check the drainage. Moreover, make sure you will go through all sinks, tubs, showers, toilet, washing machines and dishwashers as well, to prevent the leakage.
After learning about the different elements of home inspection, as well as some tips and traps of inspecting both old and new constructions, does home inspection sound less daunting to you now? Just remember that no matter the size or age of the apartment you are planning to buy, always inspect it first. It’s worth your time, and money! Download our ”free home inspection checklist” and head over to our archiparti website for more inspiration of your new home! (https://archiparti.co/)