All too often, in-depth property inspections are considered something you do only when buying or selling real estate. The time between buying and selling your property could be many years, which is an awful long time to get through with nothing more than a quick look around. The same thing applies to rental properties because move-out/move-in inspections are not usually quite as detailed as sales ones, and rental property ownership might span years.
This is where the maintenance inspection can be useful. Similar to a buy/sell home inspection, you go through the home just as you would in those situations with a few common-sense exceptions. For example, appliances themselves aren’t usually checked during a maintenance inspection because you already know how they perform. Their installation is looked at it, however, because major issues can crop up there, especially if any repair work has been done.
Another variance that can work as an advantage is that you can get more into a home during a maintenance inspection than you can a sale inspection. A buy/sell inspection agreement usually includes a clause about the check being noninvasive because the seller doesn’t want damage done to the home that has to be repaired afterward. As the owner, you’re not bound by that restriction.
It’s a Home Checkup
A home maintenance inspection is almost like your annual physical exam from your doctor, except it only happens about once every five years. You can use the results to help prioritize your list of home improvements and perhaps spot small issues before them become huge, costly problems. Sometimes, these types of inspections will show that what you thought was a small problem is actually a big one.
You Can Go A La Carte
If you are worried about a specific house issue but you’re certain nothing else is wrong, you can do a single-item or “a la carte” inspection. In this case, you will only focus on the problem area. For example, if you’re concerned about your roof leaking, you can just check that area of the home plus any attachments or related items that could be contributing to a leak, such as your gutter systems.
Whether you’re doing a full maintenance inspection or just a specific part of your home, remember that taking your time and keeping detailed notes are important. A good maintenance inspection will take some time, but it’s definitely worth the hours spent.