Your offer has been accepted, and you think it is smooth sailing to close of escrow right? Now the detective work begins! Time to find out everything you can about your potential new home.

You are now in the inspection contingency period, which provides you with the opportunity to look into all of the nooks and crannies of the house to make sure it is good condition. And, if you do find any significant faults, you have the ability to renegotiate or cancel the contract.

I’m assuming that you aren’t an expert in foundations or furnaces or termites, and even if you are, you need to get objective qualified experts to inspect the home. But, what should you expect to inspect? Here is a general list of inspections to consider for your home. Of course, every home is different and may have unique needs, but these are key inspections to keep in mind.

General Home Inspection—An overall look at the basic systems in the house, from heating and electrical to roofs and windows. The general home inspection can sometimes lead to additional specialized inspections.

Roof—An examination of the age, style and condition of the roof. Even if it looks good to the naked eye, there could be problems with flashings and gutters.

Sewer Scope—This inspection looks at the plumbing connection from the private home to the city’s sewer system to find any possible leaks or seepage.

Pest and Structural—A investigation of any termite infestation, dry rot and other pesky pests. In Portland, this is often combined with the general home inspection.

Foundation—A detailed investigation of the home’s basic foundation and structural support systems. This should also include information on the grade of the lot and any potential drainage issues that can affect the foundation.

Furnace—An examination of the age, type and condition of the home’s heating and duct system.

Electrical—An examination of the age, type and condition of the home’s electrical system. With the our overwhelming electrical needs in this day and age, this can be very important, especially in older homes.

Plumbing—An examination of the age, type and condition of the home’s plumbing system.

The cost of each inspections can vary from free to several hundred dollars. I generally recommend that buyers budget about $750-$1000 for inspections. If you discover problems that would make living in the home an expensive problem, consider it the best money you ever spent!

If you need a referral to a qualified inspection, give me a call. I’m always happy to help