Home Inspection Checklist for Santa Rosa Beach Area: Here's What To Look For
Home inspections are not done just for the sake of saying you did it. Home inspections can bring to light the problems the house has so that when you are making the purchase you are sure of what you are getting. You don't want to uncover potential problems when it's too late already. Also, as the home buyer 1 of the biggest reasons for the inspection is so you can exercise your home inspection contingency if necessary. Your real estate agent will give the home inspection report in to the home seller when requesting any repairs to be made.
Just because you're purchasing a new home doesn't mean that your inspection can uncover such things as safety issues or things that were improperly installed. Older homes can have an enormous amount of problems that only a professional inspection can uncover. For example, older homes built before 1978 may have lead paint which can be harmful to humans and pets.
Special tip: When deciding who to use make sure that they are a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). This will ensure that they have been properly trained and certified.
● Is there any flashing affecting the roof penetration?
● For wooden shingles or shakes, check for any rot, mold, decay, curling, cracked/missing/ broken shingles.
● For flat roofs: check for wrinkles, sealed tar at flashings, cracks, splits, or obvious paths. Also, look for blisters/alligatoring or silt deposits.
● Are there signs of excess caulk/roofing cement?
● For composition shingles, ensure there is no loss of granulation particulate, no cupping/curling, no missing, damaged or broken shingles and also no more than two layers of roofing.
● Do the fascia and soffits have stains or decay?
● Chimneys should have no damaged bricks or cracked joints. Also, the home inspector should check whether the chimney is properly flashed and straight. The cement cap or chimney mortar has to be in good condition.
it's so important to have the roof inspected. There are so many roof issues that can occur in many of them can be difficult to detect. Make sure your inspector can ensure that your roof is sound and leak-free.
A common thing that I have seen in homes over the past 10+ years is water intrusion from the ridge vents. This can sometimes cause water to leak through into the house through the ceiling. Many times this happens when we get extremely high winds from thunderstorms or tropical storms and hurricanes.
It doesn't matter whether you're in Destin or Santa Rosa Beach you will see this in both areas. Many times there will be old water damage or watermarks on the ceiling (sheetrock). With a quick attic inspection, you can tell if it is something active or a past issue and now on the aesthetic. If you looking into purchasing a 30a condo you don't need to worry about the roof because it's covered under the HOA.
● Are there open electrical splices?
● Does the underside of the roofing have stains, especially around the roof penetrations?
● Any visible damage or decay of the structure?
● Is the insulation sufficient and properly installed? The moisture barrier should be installed close to the heated area of the house. The last thing you want is to be worrying about mold in your home.
● There should be no appliance vents, plumbing or exhausts terminating in the attic.
● Does the attic have adequate ventilation? There should be a clear path into the attic for air to enter through the soffit vents. The gable end louvers should be adequately sized not forgetting that mechanical ventilation has to be operational.
● Any standing water?
● Is the downspout drainage directed away from the house?
● Does the structure have proper grading drainage?
● Do the decks and stairs have secure and adequate railings?
● Are the bushes or branches touching the house or overhanging the roof?
● Is there evidence or leaks from the leech field or septic tank?
● Patios, driveways, entrance landings, and sidewalks should be in good condition as well as pitched away from the structure.
● Are the trees, yard, landscaping, and walkways in a good condition?
● Are the exterior structures( detached garages, fences, retaining walls, sheds, decks) in good condition?
● Is there evidence of rotted wood or termite damage on the exterior structures?
● Any stains on the exterior surfaces?
● Any vines on the surface of the structure?
● Are there any decay, rot, loose, curling or cracking on the siding?
● Is the exterior paint blistering or flaking?
● If the structure has aluminum or vinyl siding are there dents, loose siding, bowing, or damage.
● For stucco, there shouldn't be large cracks.
● Is there adequate clearance between wood siding materials and the ground?
An extremely common thing to see along the Emerald Coast is staining on concrete or even the side of the house. These types of rust stains are typically harmless and aesthetic problems. The rust stains come from sprinklers that don't use city water. The well water around Santa Rosa Beach and Destin is typically the culprit.
- The most obvious plumbing problem that you will find is leaks under the kitchen or bathroom sinks. Many times this will only be a small problem that can be easily fixed but left alone can turn into a major defect.
- Do all of the sinks, showers, and toilets have water pressure? If not, this could mean a larger hidden problem that needs further investigation.
- Checking to make sure the hot water heater is performing adequately is most important. Check between the actual temperature the hot water heater is outputting compared to the actual temperature it is set at.
● Do the sides of the house appear straight? Sagging or bowing sides are not a good sign. Does the fascia board or ridge appear straight and level?
● Do the door frames and windows appear square. It should be a priority for bowed windows.
● Does the visible foundation appear straight and plumb? It should be in good condition with no significant cracks.
● Are the stains on the ceilings, walls, and floors?
● Are the flooring materials in good condition?
● Do the lights and switches operate properly?
● Are the walls adequately insulated?
● Are the paneling, paint, and wall covering in a good condition?
● Do the interior doors operate easily and latch properly? There should be no decay, damage or broken hardware.
● Is there damaged masonry or cracking in the fireplace? If the fireplace facade is stained it means there is back-drafting. The home inspector should check whether the flue is lined, clean and if it is operating properly.
● Is the wood trim in good condition?
● Does each habitable room have a proper heating/cooling source?
● Have all electrical outlets passed a spot check?
● Do the ceilings, walls and floors appear level, plumb and straight?
● Are there any significant cracks on the ceilings and in the walls?
● Do the exterior doors and windows latch properly and operate easily? There should be no broken glass, decay or sashes painted shut. All the doors and windows should have "weep-holes"
● Do interior doors latch properly and operate easily? There should be no broken hardware, damage or decay.
● Does the dishwasher have any leaks? Does the door spring operate properly and are all the drains working properly?
● Any leakage in the pipes under the sink?
● Is the water flow in the sinks adequate?
● Do all the built-in appliances operate properly?
● What is the condition of the cabinets? Do the cabinet doors and drawers operate properly?
● Are the garbage disposal, waste pipes deteriorated or have excessive rust?
Depending. on the kitchen design, there can be a potential for many problems in this well-loved room in the home.
● Is the toilet stable? There should be no stains around the base nor rocking.
● Are the shower and tub tiles secure? Is the wall surface solid?
● Is the cabinet floor and plumbing under the sink in good condition?
● Is there adequate pressure and flow at all fixtures?
● Is the toilet operating properly?
● If the sink is metallic, the home inspector should look for signs of rust, and the overflow drain should not be leaking
● Is there a working exhaust fan that doesn't terminate in the attic space?
● Is the caulking outside and inside the tub and also in the shower area in good condition?
● Are there stains or signs of past leaking around the base of the shower or bath?
Additional areas to inspect
- Electrical systems can be difficult to inspect yet such things as outlets that are not producing any voltage or issues with the electrical panel will be looked at.
- Somewhat falling under electrical is making sure the garage door is operating properly. Not only does it open and close but is the chain too tight or too loose or are sensors lined up properly.
- The HVAC system is a huge item that's vital to make sure is in good condition. If you've ever had your air conditioning break in the middle of the summer you understand the value of a good working HVAC. Not to mention, it's one of the more expensive items to be replaced.
As you can see there is a lot that goes into a thorough home inspection. The list that I provided is something that you can use as a guideline. It would also be smart to print this out when home shopping. When you're out looking for your dream home have this list handy while walking through and viewing properties.
Some of the things you will be able to notice yourself while others will have to be left up to the professionals. Speaking of professionals a few of my favorite local home inspectors that cover everywhere from Panama City Beach, 30a, Santa Rosa Beach, Miramar Beach, Destin, and Fort Walton Beach are:
- Beach to Bayou 850-231-3313
- Cole's Certified Home Inspection 850-910-1113
- American Property Inspection 850-864-2744
- Thomas Cottone 850-687-3201
- Action Home Inspection 850-461-5344
More real estate articles of interest
Vicki Moore has written about what inspectors are looking for in your house. There is also a very helpful section about how to prepare your home for inspection.
Kevin Vitali has put together a good resource for what to expect from the inspection.