The inspection is a critical step in buying a home, so you know the property’s flaws before the final closing. After a home inspection, you’ll receive a detailed report that can seem overwhelming at first glance. However, understanding how to read your home inspection report gives you peace of mind before finalizing the sale.
The inspector or realtor will review the report with you, but you may still have questions. Start with the summary and areas of concern. Then do a thorough scan, looking at headings, tables, and bold or highlighted words. Finally, read the report in-depth, jotting down items that need your attention.
What do the letters on a home inspection report mean?
There are several letter codes that inspectors use on home inspection reports. Each report will have a comment key explaining the letter codes in detail. Here are some common examples:
IN – Inspected
NI – Not inspected
NP – Not present
RR- Repair or Replace
SAF – Safety Concern
When you first look at an inspection report, it can feel overwhelming. These in-depth documents can be dozens of pages long with photos, tables, and narrative descriptions. To start, focus on the summary and areas of concern.
The summary gives a brief overview of the inspection findings. It describes the home’s general condition and points out any significant issues. The summary will direct you to the page numbers of areas of concern so that you can find the most pressing problems.
When you’re ready to sit down and read the entire document, start with the table of contents to see how the information is organized. Then, briefly scan the document and identify important text such as headings, tables, and bold or highlighted words. Finally, previewing the report gives you a better idea of the text as a whole.
The next step is to read the information in its entirety. As you read, write notes regarding any items that need your attention and any additional questions you have. An in-depth report goes beyond a simple checklist to include narratives that describe the condition of all major home systems. A home inspector is trained to identify areas of concern and recommend the next steps.
Your inspector or real estate agent will go over the report with you. Still, most homeowners have more questions after they’ve had time to peruse all the information. So, when you’re finished reading, call and ask follow-up questions.
Read Your Home Inspection Report
At First Priority Home Inspection, we’re here to help you understand how to read your home inspection report. Our founder Jim has decades of experience with construction and inspection, and he takes the time to thoroughly explain each report. Give us a call at 719-491-1520.