Real Estate Glossary

What is an inspection?

Inspections are needed because, on the surface, it may seem like you’re purchasing a flawless home. But just because a home is near-new does not mean it’s perfect.

A buyer is responsible for initiating an inspection before the closing date. The seller can either pay for the repairs outright or offer a certain amount of credit at closing.

Below you can view the types of home inspections available and the benefits of each:

Foundation and frame:  This includes cracks in the foundation, walls, ceilings, and floors as well as the structural “frame” of the home. If the property was built on a slab or on a raised surface, the house is at an increased risk of “sliding”.


If the garage does not open or close properly, or if any part of the property is not properly ventilated, there’s an increased likelihood of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Roofing and insulation: 

This may mean roof or gutter damage, loose or missing tiles, or improperly installed shingles. Improper roof and attic insulation can also allow water or cold weather inside.


An examination of the faucets, showers, sinks, pipes, and signs for any visible leaks prevents future water damage. Pools, spas, and other water features will also be checked.


Outlets and electrical boxes should no sign of potential electric shock or fire hazards.

Critters, pests, wood-destroying organisms (WDOs):

In warmer climates, it is common to include an inspection for damages brought on by WDOs, such as termites, because they can cause significant damage to the foundation of a home.

HAVC (Heat, Air Ventilation and Cooling) Inspection:

Heating and cooling is not just for comfort. Inspect the filters, ducts, furnace, and thermostat to ensure a safe home.

Other potential issues:  Lead-based paint, asbestos, and mold are absolutely damaging to your safety.

If a general inspector detects an issue that can’t be handled by their skillset and expertise, they’re likely to have contacts who can help you out. Contact your local inspector for an unbiased assessment will determine any defects or deal breakers before the closing date.