best home inspector in atlanta

What to expect during a home inspection in Atlanta

If you’re buying a home in Atlanta, a professional home inspection is strongly advised before closing. Home inspections help buyers evaluation a property’s overall condition while protecting your investment in one of the hottest real estate markets nationwide. Read on to learn what to expect, how to prepare, things to look for and the report you’ll receive from an Atlanta home inspection.

The Home Inspection Process

A home inspection atlanta takes 2-3 hours to thoroughly examine the interior and exterior of the home. The inspector visually checks the property while operating doors, windows, appliances, plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets and more. Advanced diagnostic tools like moisture meters, outlet testers and thermal imaging augment the inspector’s evaluations.

Some key things to know about Atlanta home inspections:

  • The seller or real estate agents are typically not present during the inspection allowing the inspector to work without interference or influence. You however should attend and ask questions.
  • Expect both interior and exterior areas to be inspected including the roof, attic, walls, floors, doors, windows, garage, foundation and more.
  • The HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and other mechanical systems will be evaluated for proper functioning, overall condition and estimated useful life left.
  • Major appliances like the water heater, furnace, and AC unit will be turned on to test performance.
  • Any pool, outdoor kitchen, irrigation system and other exterior features will be examined.
  • Cosmetic flaws like paint cracks or worn carpeting are generally low priority, but may still be noted.
  • Inspectors will point out any noticeable water damage, cracking, settling or potential mold issues. These are common in Atlanta due to humidity.
  • Recommendations for repairs, replacements, or further professional assessment will be provided.

Overall, Atlanta home inspectors take a very thorough look at the current quality and safety of your future home. Their inspection report becomes your guide to the property’s physical condition. Use it to make an informed buying decision or negotiate repairs with the seller.

What to Check for in an Older Atlanta Home

Age, renovations and wear-and-tear influence property condition, especially in an older Atlanta home. Here are common issues inspectors flag in vintage houses:

  • Plumbing leaks, low water pressure, and corrosion inside steel pipes. Galvanized plumbing pipes have a typical lifespan of 60-70 years.
  • Lack of proper insulation and air sealing leading to higher energy bills.
  • Older electrical panels, wiring and outlets that may not handle current loads and pose fire risks. Aluminum wiring in particular should be examined closely.
  • HVAC systems that are past expected life spans and less energy efficient. Lack of central air conditioning in some older homes.
  • Foundation settling and moisture intrusion. Atlanta’s clay soil can cause sinking and water issues.
  • Termite damage or powder post beetles since Atlanta homes are in a zone prone to these pests.
  • Lack of safety updates such as GFCI outlets, smoke/CO detectors and adequate railings.
  • Outdated materials that could contain lead paint or asbestos risks requiring abatement.

While not deal breakers, these common aging home issues should be evaluated and quoted for repair. Many buyers negotiate a lower price or seller-paid fix of major outdated systems like plumbing or HVAC. Cosmetic fixes are often the buyer’s responsibility.

Questions to Ask Your Home Inspector

Ideally, you should accompany the inspector during the inspection so you can ask questions in real-time as they evaluate the property. Here are key questions for inspectors:

  • What’s your overall assessment of the home’s condition? Does this align with the home’s age and location?
  • Are there any safety concerns or code violations you observed?
  • What areas or systems require immediate repair in your professional opinion?
  • What replacements or major repairs do you anticipate being needed in the next 5 years based on the home’s current condition?
  • Were there any signs of significant water damage or potential mold issues?
  • Did you notice any cracks in the foundation or walls that cause concern?
  • Are there indicators the home may have had pest problems in the past? Any current signs?
  • How energy efficient is the home based on insulation, air sealing, HVAC equipment, plumbing, appliances, lighting, etc?
  • Does anything stand out as being recently updated or renovated? How long might those components last until needing replacement again?

Gaining the inspector’s experienced perspective can provide insights beyond what’s contained in the written report. Take advantage of having an expert available to answer your questions face-to-face.

What to Look for in Your Inspection Report

Expect to receive a detailed written report from the inspector summarizing their findings, recommendations and any safety concerns. Here’s what the report should contain:

Overview Summary – A high-level summary of the home’s overall condition, areas needing repair, and inspector concerns.

Itemized Systems and Components – The report will methodically walk through the inspector’s findings for all systems and areas of the home including the roof, exterior, foundation, structure, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, etc.

Condition Assessment – Each component inspected will include analysis such as: in good shape, moderately deteriorated, severely damaged, exceeded useful life, etc. This categorization provides a snapshot of condition.

Recommendations – The reports will recommend repairs, replacements, upgrades, or further professional evaluations when deficiencies are found. However, inspectors do not provide cost estimates for the work needed.

Pictures – Most reports include images of any damages, problems, safety hazards or areas of concern called out in the report. Pictures allow you to clearly see the issues identified by the inspector.

Once you receive the inspection report, set aside time to review it closely and create a list of concerns. Use this as the basis for re-negotiation with the seller if costly repairs are required. Also start budgeting for upcoming maintenance projects based on the inspector’s recommendations.

Appointments book up fast with Atlanta home inspectors when real estate activity heats up each spring. Schedule your inspection as soon as possible once you’re under contract. Be present during the inspection and come armed with questions. Then carefully analyze the detailed report you receive to make a sound investment in your new Atlanta home.

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