BELOW ARE SOME OF THE MOST COMMON AND IMPORTANT PROPERTY INSPECTIONS TO HAVE DONE WHEN PURCHASING A HOME. MOST INSPECTORS GIVE YOU A PRINTED OR HANDWRITTEN REPORT AFTER DOING THEIR INSPECTION. OTHER INSPECTORS JUST EMAIL THE REPORT TO YOU.
The physical inspection (also called the general inspection) is an overall inspection that checks the major systems of the home. If the physical inspector finds issues that need further investigation, they may recommend that you get additional specialty inspections (roof, electrical, etc). Most physical inspection companies do not check out the alarm system, so if there is an existing alarm system that stays with the home and you would like to have it inspected, you will need to contact an alarm company to inspect it.
It is very important to get a mold inspection done on every property you purchase! The physical inspector looks for mold but does not have the equipment to properly investigate all moisture intrusion and mold conditions.
A termite/pest inspection should always be done. After purchasing a home, most owners don't have regular termite inspections done so they are often unaware of termite issues.
Never skip the sewer inspection when purchasing a single family home because even though the system may be working fine, it does not always mean that there aren't issues. Root intrusion, bad pipe connections and cracks are common problems (that can be quite expensive to fix). A proper sewer inspection involves running a camera thru the line to visually check the condition of the system.
You will also need to verify that the property is insurable as soon as possible (you need to do this before the expiration of your inspection contingency). You may want to compare rates between a few insurance companies. If you currently have auto insurance, that company might be able to give you a multiple policy discount if you go thru them.
A fireplace inspection should be done on every home that has one or more fireplaces. Even if you never plan to use the fireplace, you should still have the inspection done because when it comes time for you to sell the home the same issue may come up then. It's rather surprising how many fireplaces pass city inspection even though they were not properly installed in the first place!
If the home is located on a hillside or there is a difference in grade height around the home or on the property, you may want to have a geotechnical inspection done. This inspection checks out soil stability, history of any area landslides and it also inspects the effect that the soil around the home is having on the foundation.
When purchasing a home located on the beach in Malibu, you definitely need to get a structural inspection. This inspection checks the condition of beams and posts that support the home.