When you get a home inspection report back prior to buying a home, it's easy to become overwhelmed by the details. Really thorough inspectors often note seemingly minor details, such as whether certain light bulbs need to be replaced or whether the home could benefit from an extra layer of attic insulation. These details can be good to consider, but you don't want them to distract you from the most important components of the home inspection. Pay special attention to the following items as you review the report.
The condition of the foundation
Few things are more expensive to fix in a home than foundation issues. As such, you want to take any notes about the home's foundation very seriously when reviewing an inspection report. There are some cases in which little cracks or some minor settling might not be a big deal, but if your report indicates those things, you do want to have a deeper conversation about it with the inspector. See whether they think the issue will become more of a problem later on. You can even directly ask them whether they would buy a home with the issue noted.
The age and condition of the pipes
An issue like corroded or aged pipes may not seem like a big deal if the pipes are still working, but it only takes one leak to cause tens of thousands of dollars worth of water damage. Replumbing a home is also quite expensive. So, if the inspection report notes that the pipes are old, have mineral buildup, or are worn in some areas, dig deeper into that. If the inspector thinks the pipes will need to be replaced anytime soon, that's a reason to significantly reduce your offer on the home so you can later account for that expense.
A leaking or damaged roof is another issue that you should never take lightly. A few missing shingles can quickly turn into a half roof of missing shingles in a wind storm. A tiny leak can cause mold in the attic. Pay close attention to any inspection details related to the roof. If the inspector does note any roof issues, it's often worth having a specialty roofing contractor come take a closer look and offer their opinion.
Inspection reports can be full of helpful details, but it's most important to pay attention to the elements above. For more information on a home inspection, contact a professional near you.