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How to Read a Home Inspection Report

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Ben Franklin Plumbing Van
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The great thing about getting an inspection on your home is that it is an unbiased opinion. They will let you know exactly what is working, what is not working, what the red flags are in their opinion and what needs to be fixed or corrected. How do you read and understand the report that is given to you? After all, at this point you are deciding whether you will move forward in the home-buying process and are having to sign off on this report acknowledging that you understand their findings.


There are generally two formats the inspector will use:


  1. A Checklist Report

A checklist report will be just that, a list of items and the inspector’s opinion on the condition (good, fair or poor) of the items. They will usually have a section for notes underneath each item if they have any. The downside to this type of report is the lack of detail, however it is easier to read and follow as a home-buyer.


  1. A Narrative Report

A narrative report is more detailed and is written out in article format. This type of report will usually include: what they inspected, how they inspected it and what their thoughts are on the overall condition. This type of report can be more overwhelming because there is usually more to read, but it provides much more detail for those home-buyers who are interested.


The inspection will include most areas of your home. There are certain areas or items that should be prioritized as far as the condition. For example, the inspector may find that the stove wasn’t correctly installed. You can ask the seller to correct the issue or fix it yourself. Whereas a roof replacement will be something more concerning to you.


The inspector should let you know what is not up to code, but here are some of the areas that should be prioritized when it comes to your inspection:


  1. Plumbing: Major plumbing repairs can be costly and inconvenient. There are some plumbing repairs that can be an easy fix, but there are some that should be left up to professionals like Benjamin Franklin Plumbing AZ!
  1. Electrical System: It is important to make sure you check that everything is working (see our tips of what to check here). The inspector will let you know what is not turning on, what switches may need to be replaced for code reasons, etc.


  1. Roof: A roof will be one of the most costly repairs on a home. If you are buying a fairly new home, this most likely will not be something that you need to worry about. For older homes, the inspector will go up to the roof and check all areas to ensure a repair is not needed soon.


  1. Potential Health Risks: The inspector cannot blast into the walls to check for mold and things like that. However, they can take a look under all water fixtures in the home, use their senses and go from there.


  1. Structure: The inspector will take a look at the foundation and how the house is leveled. They will show you if any of the foundation is cracked or unstable and let you know their opinion of the condition and if anything would need to be repaired or not.

After you read the inspection report, your realtor should be able to assist you in the process of determining what to ask the seller to fix or replace and what you believe you would be willing to correct after the home has been purchased. Your realtor is there to give you advice while also keeping your best interest in mind. The seller may be willing to work with you on some concerns because after all, they are wanting to close on the house as well!