Buyer’s Home Inspection Guide

You’ve finally found your dream home and successfully beat out all other bidders. Now all you need to do is ensure there are no serious issues with the home before you settle in. That is precisely what the Home Inspection is for. Below is a Guide to Home Inspection that will help you on your way to home sweet home.

Finding the Right Inspector


You should hire a licensed, professional inspector to conduct a thorough inspection. Your Real Estate Agent will have solid referrals for you, but you can also find plenty online using sites like and

Most home inspectors belong to one of the below organizations, which have directories to search by location:

The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI)
The National Association of Home Inspections (NAHI)
International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI).


What to Expect During the Home Inspection

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A typical home inspection takes between 2-1/2 and 3-1/2 hours to complete (in some cases more depending on the square footage).

The Inspector should:

Enter all accessible attics and crawl spaces
Operate appliances, furnace, air conditioner, and water heater
Open windows and doors
Run all plumbing
Inspect all interior spaces
Remove electrical panel cover and check lights and receptacles
Traverse roofs when possible


Checklist of Key Problem Areas


As the inspector works through the home, keep an eye out for these specific areas that tend to need extra attention and maintenance:

Foundation: Look at the base of the walls and the ceilings in each room. Are there obvious cracks or apparent shifts in the foundation? Do the same around the outside. Are there any trees encroaching on the foundation?

Lot: Does the drainage appear to be away from the house? Are there any obvious soggy areas?

Roof: What is the overall condition? When was it last replaced?

Exterior: Does the house look like it will need repairs or repainting soon? Are gutters and downspouts firmly attached? Are there loose boards or dangling wires? Is there asbestos in the exterior material, which would require added costs if it needed to be repaired or replaced?

Attic: How does the interior of the roof structure look? Are there any signs of leaks?

Interior evidence of leaks: Check ceilings and around windows in each room.

Basement: Is there dampness? Adequate insulation? (If there’s a crawl space instead of a basement, you might want to leave this for the professional home inspection.)

Electrical: Do the switches work? Are there any obvious malfunctions? Have the outlets been grounded? Is the panel updated and expandable for additional appliances or a potential remodel?

Plumbing: Any unusual noises or malfunctions? Has the sewer line been scoped to check for potential cracks?

Appliances: If these are included, what is the age and condition of the stove, dishwasher or refrigerator?

Heating/cooling system: Does it seem to do the job? How old is the furnace? If the system has been converted, are the old systems or tanks still in place?

Odor: Does the home smell? Can you detect what it might be and whether it could be fixed? Beware of musty odors which could signal a wet basement.


Excluded / Additional Items to Consider


The following items are typically excluded from the general structural and mechanical inspection, but are optional and can be inspected for an additional fee.

Water Testing
Well and Septic
Security Systems
Water Softeners
Insect Infestation
Irrigation Systems
Pools and Hot Tub
Lead Based Paint
Other environmental conditions

It may seem daunting to dive deep into the insides of a home that appears perfect to you on the outside, but once you’ve completed the inspection you will know exactly what issues need fixing so you can sleep soundly.


Please feel free to contact us with questions or if we can help you find a professional in the Calabasas and Hidden Hills areas | 818.584.6094

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