Whether you complete a home inspection on your own or hire a professional to do it, there are at least three areas that you need to inspect very carefully. Paying extra attention to make sure that you find foundation, plumbing, and electrical problems before you buy a home is essential. Here are some tips you need to know about each.


As you inspect the home, there are several things that you will want to look for as they can indicate that the house has foundation problems. Walk around the outside of the home looking for any bulges or cracks in the foundation. If the house is built on post and beams, then climb under the house to make sure that they are correctly positioned and have not been eaten away by termites. Once inside the home, watch for cracks in the walls along with doors and windows that do not align properly. A-Best Foundation Repair explains that cracks are one of the most common signs of foundation trouble. Also, stand in the corner of each room, and make sure that the floor appears flat clear across.

If you find foundation problems, then you may want to back away from buying the house. If foundation problems are detected, and you decide to go ahead with the sale without asking for concessions, then you are responsible for the cost of those repairs. While it may be as simple as changing the way the water flows in the yard so that water no longer sits against the foundation or, as suggested by this company, removing a tree who’s root threaten the foundation, these repairs can end up costing a lot. There is no way of telling without getting professionals involved. Additionally, it is usually smarter to not agree to let the seller do the repairs because they will go the cheapest way possible, leaving you with a foundation that might need to be repaired soon.

Plumbing System

Some plumbing problems can be as simple as installing new parts inside a commode, but others can be very expensive. Therefore, consider that some plumbing problems can be fixed after a simple inspection, but others require more extensive repairs. Check the bathrooms very carefully starting with making sure each commode flushes correctly. Test the flooring around each commode because weak flooring in this area often indicates that the commode has been leaking at its bottom for a long time. Look up in every room to see if you see any brown stains. Finding these is a sign that water has gotten into the room somehow. It can be from a leaking roof or a leaking pipe. Turn on all the water in the house and watch how long it takes the lowest drain to get rid of its water. If it takes a long time, then this can be a sign that the sewage lines need to be replaced. If the home has a septic system, then make sure that it is operating properly. Try to find out when new plumbing was put in the house. Pipes should only be expected to last about 25 years, and old pipes may contain lead. CBD Plumbers Perth explains that cleaning and unblocking pipes is easier than ever with the use of cameras and hydro jetters, though, so if you do find that present in your home, don’t be too discouraged.  

It is vital to consider the extent of plumbing issues when purchasing a house. While small issues are usually not a make-or-break deal, you may want to walk away if the house has larger plumbing issues. Therefore, it is usually a good idea to get a professional inspection before signing the final papers. You may be able to force the previous owners to pay for the repairs, but in most cases, it may take a costly court battle. Instead of that, you may require a lengthy and costly court battle, so think about the plumbing before buying a home.

Electrical System

Another make-or-break part that you need to inspect before agreeing to buy a home is the electrical system. This is one area where it may definitely pay to get a professional to do an inspection before agreeing to buy a home, as sometimes appraisal officers can’t catch all of the problems present in a home. Many homes don’t really meet code as often as you might think, due to being grandfathered in. You may find homes that still have copper or aluminum wiring in them. Angie’s List explains that it’s important to make sure that the home’s circuits are in good working order and not installed in a closet. The house should also have the main breaker located outside the home so that all the electricity can be stopped instantly in case of a fire or other emergency. All wiring in the home should be in good condition, and the system should have plenty of room for expansion. Generally, people use more electricity now than at any point in history, so make sure that there are plenty of plugins and that they are in good working order. Ask the professional if the electricity to the home is properly grounded.

Rewiring an entire house can easily cost up to $20,000, so make sure that you know exactly what needs to be done. Like foundation repairs, you may want to negotiate a lower price whether than an ask the seller to make repairs as that may result in shoddy quality. Remember that everything is negotiable before a sale, so see what concessions the seller is willing to make before closing on the home’s sale.


Inspecting these three major areas can help ensure that you are getting a good investment on your money. Buying a home is a huge deal, and one you need to approach carefully. Think about getting a home inspection done quickly after you place money in escrow. If at all possible, be at the home inspection as it is usually easier for the inspector to discuss any problems with you in person than write it out completely in a report. Know your state law as it may require notice in writing within a certain number of days to get out of a contract without losing your escrow money. Even if you lose this money,  it may be smarter to walk away than to buy a house with a significant foundation, plumbing or electrical problem that will end up costing you far more than the escrow money lost.