What should I do during the home inspection? Top Ten Home Inspection Essential Tips

We are often asked, “What should I do when waiting for you to finish the inspection?” So we put together this home inspection essentials guide to give you ideas to make the most of your time!

As morning light streams through your curtains, you hop out of bed, eager for the day ahead. Today’s the big day – the home inspection. You grab your checklist, water bottle, and phone, ready for whatever comes your way.

On the drive to the property, you mentally review your questions and prepare yourself for the inspection. Arriving, your agent and home inspectors greet you with a smile, and together, you head inside.

One of the inspectors briefs you on what to expect, but once the inspectors start poking around, you’re left wondering: what now?

We understand that waiting can be a bit nerve-wracking, but fear not! We’ve compiled a top-10 list of productive and enjoyable activities to help you make the most of your time during the inspection process:

  1. Take a break!
  2. Indulge in snacks
  3. Explore the property
  4. Assess natural lighting
  5. Note areas for improvement
  6. Familiarize yourself with utility systems
  7. Plan your furniture
  8. Check the garage size
  9. Explore the neighbourhood
  10. Review rules and regulations

Home Inspection Tip #1: Take a break!

Taking a breather during the home inspection process offers more than just a moment to catch your breath; this gives you the chance to recalibrate amidst the whirlwind of emotions often accompanying the home-buying journey. Purchasing a home is undoubtedly a significant milestone, but it’s also one of life’s most stressful endeavours.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the pressure of decision-making, negotiations, and financial considerations. That’s why this moment of respite is so crucial. By taking the time to sit back, relax, and engage in conversation with your real estate agent, you’re not just momentarily easing the tension; you’re also forging a connection that can provide invaluable support throughout the process.

Your real estate agent is more than just a professional guiding you through transactions; they’re your advocate, your confidant, and often, your source of reassurance in moments of doubt. By engaging in conversation, you’re not only building rapport but also gaining insights and perspective that can help inform your decisions.

Moreover, taking a breather allows you to step back and gain a broader perspective on the situation. It’s an opportunity to remind yourself of the excitement and anticipation that comes with finding your dream home amidst the stress and uncertainty. You can approach the rest of the inspection process with clarity and composure by grounding yourself in the present moment.

So, as you sit and exchange words with your real estate agent, remember that this moment of connection is more than just a break from the action—it’s an essential part of the home-buying journey. It’s a chance to reaffirm your goals, gather your thoughts, and ultimately move forward confidently toward finding the perfect place to call home.

Table, chairs, snacks, and drinks set up by Inspection Works

Buying a home is a significant milestone, but it can also be stressful. Take this opportunity to sit back, relax, and chat with your real estate agent. It’s essential to slow down and connect amidst the whirlwind of emotions.

Home Inspection Tip #2: Indulge in Snacks

We understand that waiting for a couple of hours can feel like an eternity, especially when you’re eager to discover the results of your home inspection. That’s why we make sure to come prepared with an assortment of delicious snacks and refreshing drinks to keep you satisfied and energized. Whether you’re craving something sweet, salty, or savoury, there’s something in our snack arsenal to tempt your taste buds.

But it’s not just about curbing those hunger pangs – it’s also about creating a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere for you to relax in while we do our work. So go ahead, help yourself to your heart’s content. Whether munching on snacks or sipping a cold beverage, we want you to feel right at home during the inspection process. After all, a satisfied stomach makes for a happier and more enjoyable experience overall. So please sit back, snack away, and let us take care of the rest!

Home Inspection Tip #3: Explore the Property

While the inspector diligently goes about their work, it’s the perfect opportunity for you to explore the interior and exterior of the home. Take your time to wander through each room, noting the layout, features, and any potential areas of interest.

As you wander, don’t hesitate to ask questions or voice any concerns that may arise. Whether it’s a quirky feature in the kitchen or a mysterious stain on the carpet, no detail is too small to bring to our attention. Your real estate agent is also there to help, so feel free to lean on them for guidance and clarification as needed.

Outside, stroll around the property, paying attention to the landscaping, outdoor living spaces, and any potential maintenance issues. Is the backyard perfect for summer barbecues? Is the basement big enough for that pool table? These are all worth considering as you envision yourself living in the space.

By exploring the property on your own terms, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of its unique characteristics and potential. And who knows? You might stumble upon a hidden gem or two that you wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. So embrace your inner explorer and make the most of this opportunity to get to know your future home inside and out.

Home Inspection Tip #4: Assess Natural Lighting

Take a moment to observe how sunlight brightens up each room. Notice how it streams through the windows, casting shadows and illuminating different areas of the space. Consider how the natural light affects the ambiance and atmosphere of each room.

As you follow this home inspection tip and assess the natural lighting, think about your preferences and lifestyle. Do you prefer bright, sunlit spaces that energize you in the morning? Or do you lean towards softer, more diffused light that creates a cozy evening atmosphere? Take note of which rooms receive the most sunlight throughout the day and how this might align with your daily routines.

If you notice any areas that seem dim or shadowy, consider whether adjustments or additional lighting fixtures might be necessary to brighten the space. This could involve installing overhead lights, adding floor lamps, or strategically placing mirrors to reflect natural light and enhance the room’s brightness. You may consider hiring an electrical contractor like Ground Electrical Contractors, who does fantastic work for a fair price.

Ultimately, the goal is to create a living environment that feels comfortable and inviting, with lighting that complements your lifestyle and enhances the functionality of each room. So take your time to assess the natural lighting during the inspection, and envision how to tailor the space to suit your needs and preferences.

A room with good natural lighting.

Pay attention to how sunlight filters into each room. Consider whether any adjustments or additional lighting might be necessary to suit your preferences.

Home Inspection Tip #5: Note Areas for Improvement

While you walk through the property, keep a mental checklist of any areas or features that might need a little TLC. Look closely at the condition of the walls, floors, and fixtures, noting any signs of wear and tear or outdated design elements.

Is there peeling paint in the hallway that could use a fresh coat? Are the kitchen cabinets showing signs of age and needing a makeover? Take note of any potential renovation projects that could enhance the overall look and feel of the home.

Additionally, consider any functional aspects of the property that may need attention. Is the HVAC system outdated and in need of replacement? Are there plumbing issues that should be addressed sooner rather than later? Identifying these areas for improvement early on can help you prioritize future renovation projects and budget accordingly.

By mentally noting these areas for improvement during the inspection, you’ll be better prepared to tackle them down the line. Whether it’s a simple cosmetic update or a more extensive renovation, clearly understanding the work that needs to be done can help you plan and budget effectively as you settle into your new home.

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Home Inspection Tip #6: Familiarize Yourself with Utility Systems

While the inspector conducts their assessment, seize the opportunity to acquaint yourself with the home’s essential utility systems. Locate the utility meters, main shut-off valves for water and gas, electrical panels, and any other critical systems.

Understanding the layout and functionality of these utility systems can prove invaluable, especially in emergencies. Knowing how to locate and shut off the relevant utilities quickly can help minimize damage and ensure your safety in the event of a water leak, gas leak, or electrical issue.

Start by locating the water shut-off valve near the water meter or where the main water line enters the home. Familiarize yourself with how to turn it off in case of a burst pipe or plumbing emergency. Similarly, locate the gas shut-off valve and learn how to turn off the gas supply safely if needed.

Next, locate the electrical panel and note the circuit breakers controlling different areas of the home. Understanding which breaker corresponds to each part of the house can help you troubleshoot electrical issues and safely shut off power in case of a malfunction.

Finally, remember to locate any other essential systems, such as the furnace or HVAC unit, water heater, and sump pump, if applicable. Knowing their location and how they operate can help you maintain them properly and troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

By taking the time to familiarize yourself with these utility systems during the inspection, you’ll feel more confident and prepared to handle emergencies should they occur. It’s a small investment of time that can pay off in peace of mind and safety for you and your family in the long run.

Home Inspection Tip #7: Plan your Furniture

As you walk through the property’s rooms, envision how your furniture will fit into each space. If you’re bringing furniture from your current residence, it’s essential to ensure that it will fit comfortably in the areas you intend for it to go. Measure key pieces, such as sofas, beds, and dining tables, and compare them to the dimensions of the rooms and doorways in the new home.

On the other hand, if you’re planning on buying new furniture for the space, now is the perfect time to start planning. Consider the layout and size of each room and visualize how different furniture pieces will fit together. Take note of any unique features or architectural elements that may impact furniture placement, such as alcoves, bay windows, or built-in shelving.

To make the planning process even easier, feel free to use our digital measuring laser. This handy tool allows you to quickly and accurately measure distances and dimensions, ensuring that your furniture arrangements are just right. Whether you’re measuring the width of a doorway or the distance between walls, our digital measuring laser makes it a breeze to get precise measurements every time.

Additionally, if you’d like assistance visualizing your furniture arrangements in the new space, we offer a professional floor plan service for a nominal fee. Our team can create a detailed floor plan of the property, complete with measurements and room layouts, to help you plan your furniture placement with precision. With our floor plan service, you’ll have a clear blueprint of the space to work with, making the moving and decorating process a breeze. If you’re interested in learning more about our floor plan service, please visit our Floor Plan service page, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us for more information. And the best part? Your customized floor plan will be available later the same day, allowing you to start planning your dream home layout without delay.

Home Inspection Tip #8: Check the Garage Size

If parking in the garage is a priority for you, it’s crucial to ensure that both the garage itself and the overhead door are compatible with your vehicle. Take a moment to assess the size of the garage and compare it to the dimensions of your car or truck. Measure the width and length of the garage space, as well as the height of the ceiling, to ensure that there’s enough room for your vehicle to fit comfortably.

In addition to the overall size of the garage, pay attention to the clearance height of the overhead door. Ensure your vehicle can easily enter and exit without any clearance issues. If you have a larger vehicle or plan to install roof racks or other accessories, it’s especially important to double-check the clearance height to avoid any surprises later on.

Once again, digital measuring tools can be incredibly helpful in simplifying this process. Our digital measuring laser allows you to quickly and accurately measure the dimensions of the garage space and compare them to the size of your vehicle. With just a few simple measurements, you can ensure that your vehicle will fit perfectly in your new garage, giving you peace of mind as you move forward with your home purchase.

Remember our professional floor plan service mentioned above if you’d like assistance visualizing how comfortably your vehicle will fit in the garage. However, for precision down to the inch, we recommend verifying the garage dimensions yourself.
Measuring a garage with a laser measuring tool

If parking in the garage is part of your plan, ensure that both the garage and overhead door are compatible with your vehicle. Digital measuring tools can simplify this process.

Home Inspection Tip #9: Explore the Neighborhood

While the inspector conducts their assessment, take advantage of the opportunity to explore the neighbourhood surrounding the property. Step outside and take a leisurely walk or a short drive around the area to get a feel for your potential new community.

As you explore, pay attention to the nearby amenities that could enhance your daily life. Are there grocery stores, restaurants, and cafes within walking distance? How about parks, playgrounds, or recreational facilities where you can enjoy outdoor activities? Note down any amenities that align with your lifestyle and preferences.

In addition to amenities, take note of the local schools and educational facilities if you have children or are planning to start a family. Are there nearby schools that meet your standards for quality education? Consider the proximity and accessibility of these schools as you evaluate the neighbourhood.

Beyond practical considerations, take the time to soak in the community vibes and atmosphere. Do you sense a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, with neighbours chatting on the sidewalks and children playing in the parks? Or do you prefer a quieter, more secluded neighbourhood with a serene ambiance? Understanding the neighbourhood’s character and vibe can play a significant role in shaping your overall living experience.

By exploring the neighbourhood during the inspection, you’ll gain valuable insights into what it would be like to call this place home. Whether it’s the convenience of nearby amenities, the quality of local schools, or the sense of community spirit, these factors can all contribute to your decision-making process as you evaluate the property. So take your time, soak it all in, and envision yourself joining this vibrant neighbourhood community.

Home Inspection Tip #10: Review Rules and Regulations

If the property is part of a condominium or homeowners association (HOA), it’s essential to familiarize yourself with any rules or regulations that may govern your daily life as a resident. These rules can cover a wide range of topics, from pet policies and noise restrictions to architectural guidelines and maintenance responsibilities.

Take the time to carefully review the HOA documents provided by your real estate agent or property manager. These documents typically include the HOA’s governing documents, such as the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R), and the association’s bylaws, rules, and regulations.

Pay close attention to any restrictions or requirements that may impact your lifestyle or planned use of the property. For example, some HOAs restrict the type or number of pets allowed, while others may have rules regarding parking, landscaping, or exterior modifications.

Understanding these rules and regulations upfront can help prevent surprises and conflicts down the road. It allows you to decide whether the property and its associated HOA are the right fit for your needs and preferences.

Additionally, if you have any questions or concerns about the HOA rules, don’t hesitate to contact the HOA board or management company for clarification. They can provide valuable insights and guidance to help you navigate the rules and regulations effectively.

By reviewing and understanding the HOA rules and regulations, you’ll be better prepared to integrate seamlessly into the community and enjoy your new home to the fullest. So don’t overlook this important step in the home-buying process—it can make all the difference in your overall living experience.

Enabling a Smooth Transition

Remember, our primary goal is to ensure that your home inspection experience is thorough, informative, and stress-free now that you’ve found your dream home. By following these ten home inspection essentials, you can feel confident that you’ve covered all the bases and made the most of this vital step in the home-buying process. From exploring the neighbourhood to familiarizing yourself with utility systems and reviewing HOA regulations, each tip is designed to help you make informed decisions and ensure a smooth transition into your new home. Your satisfaction and peace of mind are our top priorities, so please don’t hesitate to reach out if there’s anything else we can do to assist you. Congratulations on finding your perfect home, and we look forward to being part of your journey as you settle in and make it your own. Welcome home!

David Bates - Inspection Works

Hi, I’m David!

Empower yourself with knowledge and secure your loved ones’ well-being. Join me, a Master Electrician and dedicated home inspector, on a journey of discovery as we delve into the fascinating world of building sciences. Together, let’s make your home not just a structure but a haven for your family. See my bio here.