If you're looking at buying a house, you know you have to get a home inspection to ensure there aren't any strange issues lurking under the surface. However, home inspections generally cover only the house, and there are usually other parts of the property that you'll have to live with, too. Here are three extra items that you need to have inspected, either through special arrangement with your home inspector or with a specialist inspector.
Lawns and Plants
The landscaping might look great on the days that you see the house, but there could be fungal or bacterial diseases ravaging the roots. The soil might not drain well, and the land might not even be sloped correctly to avoid having the house flood in heavy rain. While the seller isn't obligated to ensure you have the most fertile ground to work with, you need to ensure that there are no massive pest nests in the ground (such as termites) and no garden issues that could render the landscape bare and unusable in a short time. You also want to see if any tree roots are about to cause problems with pipes, sidewalks, or the foundation.
If the home uses wells, a septic system, or other outdoor plumbing components, the home inspector might not cover these during a regular inspection. You need to be sure the tank is clean, the well water is safe, and so on. In most places, if the seller knows there is a problem, he or she has to disclose it, but that doesn't mean the seller actually will disclose it, especially if he or she is not (and you are not) using an agent to complete the sale.
Even if there are no wells or septic and the home is on a very mainstream city water and sewer service, there will still be underground pipes to deal with. These must be inspected, too.
Regardless of the state of the garden and wells or tanks, the fencing, sheds, and other outdoor structures need to be checked as well. These could collapse if they aren't installed correctly, or there could be serious pest damage lurking. You need to find out if there are any boundary disputes with neighbors as well.
As mentioned, you may be able to have the home inspector look at these if you set up a special arrangement. The home inspector may also have to point you toward other companies that can complete specialized inspections, like a water-testing service to determine the quality of the well water. Contact a company like AIM Property Inspection to get an inspection with these tips in mind.