Phone IconClose Icon
Phone IconClose Icon
Get started
Menu IconClose Icon
Menu IconClose Icon

Unlock your equity.

Start your next renovation or pay off debt.

Home Inspection Intro

March 1, 2024


Min Read
Home inspector shaking hands with homebuyer in home.

So, you’re getting a home inspection. (Or at least someone told you so.)

Home inspections exist because the short amount of time we have to tour a home is simply not enough to make an educated buying decision. At an open house, you’re getting a feel for the property, then put in your offer and it gets accepted. The next step is to take a deeper look at the details before signing on the dotted line.




Do you have any home goals?

See what you qualify for. No-impact credit check. No commitment.

While inspections are completely optional, we’re going to always be on team “have the inspection.” When compared to the financial commitment you’re making by purchasing the property, a few hours and a few hundred dollars for the peace of mind are priceless. This process can uncover major issues with the home only identifiable by someone with a trained eye. Thanks for listening to our Ted Talk, now let’s go over what you need to know before inspection day arrives.

What a home inspection is. (And isn’t.)

What it is.

A home inspection is a thorough review of the property conducted by a licensed inspector—the results of which will be documented in the inspection report. During this on-site appointment, your inspector will look at the structure, electrical systems, plumbing, HVAC, and even appliances to determine their current condition and identify any potential issues. The home inspector will also provide recommendations for repairs or upgrades if necessary.

What it isn’t.

It should be noted, the difference between an INSPECTION and an APPRAISAL. An appraisal is performed by your lender to attach a market-value amount to your home. But, an inspection is initiated by you, for the the purpose of better understanding the property you’re investing in. They’re both assessing the property, but for completely different reasons.

An inspection is also not all-encompassing. You’re getting an overall look at the property from a person who knows a lot about a lot of things, but may not know everything about everything. (Think of them as general practitioners, not specialists.) They’re also limited by time, which is usually only a few hours to look at everything. So, there may still be things missed, or identified but need a deeper dive by a specialist. Your home inspection may be where you start, but not where you finish.

What’s included in a home inspection.

It covers a wide range of areas within a property, including both the interior and exterior of the home. Your inspector will evaluate the following:

  • Structural Components: The inspector will assess the condition of the foundation, roof, walls, and other structural elements. They will find signs of damage, deterioration, or settling and report any issues they find.
  • Electrical Systems: They evaluate the electrical systems, including the wiring, circuit breaker, and electrical panels. They will look for any damage, improper installation, or outdated electrical systems that may pose a safety hazard.
  • Plumbing and HVAC Systems: The plumbing and HVAC systems will be examined, including pipes, water heaters, and air conditioning units. Inspectors will identify any leaks, clogs, or malfunctions and provide recommendations for repairs if necessary.
  • Common Areas Examination: The home inspector will thoroughly examine the common areas of the home, including kitchens and bathrooms, to evaluate the functionality of fixtures, appliances, and flooring, as well as the walls, ceilings, and windows for any issues and document any concerns in their report.
  • Optional Add-Ons: Your inspector may offer supplementary services, like a detailed pest evaluation, or radon testing. If you have any suspicions, or something comes up during the inspection, you may be able to use your general inspector to get a more detailed report.

Happy family embracing inside their new home

Top Mortgage Lender

4.8/5 based on 2,500+ reviews

Do you have any home goals?

See what you qualify for. No-impact credit check. No commitment.

Apply today

What ISN’T included in a home inspection.

Think of a general inspection as a service built to work for all homes. Almost every home has a foundation, electrical, plumbing and HVAC, so your inspection will cover those basic items. However, you may have a property with some additions to that list, like a septic system or pest issues. Those require a separate, more specialized inspection, which can take place around the same time as the general one. For example, if you’re buying a property with many trees close to the home, you may want to hire an arborist to look at the condition of the trees and prevent future surprise issues. The same goes for an older home with knob-and-tube wiring, or structural concerns. Finding experts in these fields is going to be the way to get a more detailed look.

Why you want a home inspection.

We already gave the Ted Talk about why you want to get a home inspection, but here are the detailed benefits:

  • Detecting Issues Before Buying the Property - Allows you to identify any issues with the property before you make a purchase. This information can be used to negotiate a better price or decide not to proceed with the purchase if the problems are too significant.
  • Protecting Your Investment - A home inspection helps protect your investment by giving you a comprehensive understanding of the condition of the property. This is used to make informed decisions about the purchase and to plan for any repairs or upgrades that may be necessary.
  • Negotiating a Better Price or Repair Credit - If the home inspection reveals significant issues, you can use this information to negotiate a better price or seller’s credit for repairs. This helps you avoid paying full price for a property that may require costly improvements.
  • Peace of Mind - You can make an informed decision about the purchase, knowing that you have a clear picture of any potential issues.

How to choose a home inspector.

When choosing a home inspector, there are several things to look for, these include:

  • Qualifications and Certification - It's important to choose a home inspector who is properly qualified and certified. Look for an inspector who has experience and knowledge in the field and is affiliated with a professional organization.
  • Experience and Reputation - Choose a home inspector with a proven track record of conducting thorough and accurate inspections. Find reviews and testimonials from previous clients to get a sense of their reputation. You can also ask for references and check the inspector's credentials to ensure they have the experience necessary.
  • Availability and Responsiveness - You want an inspector who is easy to communicate with and who is able to provide a report in a timely manner. Make sure to discuss the inspection process with the inspector and clarify any questions or concerns before the inspection takes place.

Things you want to do BEFORE your home inspection.

To prepare for a home inspection, there are three things you can do:

  • Ask Questions and Clarify the Inspection Process - It's important to understand the inspection process and what you can expect. Ask the inspector questions about the process, the report, and what you should expect. Clarify any concerns or questions you may have and make sure you understand what is included in the inspection.
  • Provide Access to the Property and Systems - Ensure that the inspector has access to all areas of the property, including the roof, basement, and attic. Make sure that all systems, such as the electrical panel and HVAC, are accessible for the inspector to evaluate.
  • Review the Inspection Report with the Inspector - After the inspection is complete, review the report with the inspector. Ask questions and clarify any concerns you may have. Use the report to make informed decisions about the purchase and to plan for any repairs or upgrades that may be necessary.
  • A home inspection is important when buying a home. It provides you with a comprehensive understanding of the condition of the property and helps you make informed decisions about the purchase. When choosing a home inspector, look for someone who is properly qualified and experienced and who is available and responsive. Make sure to prepare for the inspection by asking questions and clarifying the process, providing access to the property and systems, and reviewing the report with the inspector.
  • If you're a first-time home buyer or if you're looking to buy a house and want to know how to get started, a home inspection should be a top priority. The importance of the home inspection process cannot be overstated, as it helps protect your investment and provides peace of mind. Don't hesitate to invest in a thorough home inspection before making a purchase.

If you haven’t scheduled your inspection yet, follow the advice above to find your inspector and get prepared. Your real estate agent will help schedule the right time with the sellers for the inspection to take place. Let them know what you’re thinking.

This is an exciting step—your first chance at seeing the true details of the house outside of the few minutes of your initial tour. On inspection day, get in there and go through all the details and ask all the questions—it’s worth it.

Ready to get started?

Apply in 3 min
Lock Icon
No-impact credit check. No commitment.