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Home Inspections

May 27, 2008  |  Difficulty: Easy

Cosy home
Be sure to acquaint yourself with the needed information about home inspections. Below there is information that you should read being for continuing this process. Following these tips will help you find a home inspector or an inspection company that you can trust.

Seek the help of a home inspector that is certified with a major home inspection organization (example: National Association of Certified Home Inspectors). Inspectors who are certified will offer these services:

  • An evaluation of the overall architecture of the home. This includes the walls, floor coverings as well as any other aspect of the home that is essential to the electrical, structural and mechanical condition. Both the internal and external structure of the building should be thoroughly evaluated.
  • A reasonable report of the major flaws of the property. Some expect that the home inspection process will give you a full list of everything that is deficient within the structure. But only the noteworthy structural faults will be documented. However, if you are looking for a very extensive inspection, you may want to spend the extra time and money on an engineering examination. This is an even further inspection of the home and would call for the removal of walls. Most sellers will not be willing to allow such an invasive inspection.
  • An organized and predictable inspection. Quality inspectors examine each section of the house in a certain order. This allows them to evaluate the entire house in a shorter amount of time. This will also give you the comfort of knowing that the home is being overviewed in a compressive manner; making sure that nothing is overlooked or missed.

After the inspection is carried out, you will get a report stating what the inspector found. To ward off confusion, most inspectors have a simple report arrangement. To prepare yourself for this process, ask for a sample report. Below is a list of the topics and questions that you should expect to find on your home inspection report:

Roofing
  • Is the peak of the roof sagging or is it stable, straight and leveled?
  • Do the rafters and trusses have sagging between them?
  • Are the asphalt shingles in good condition or is deterioration present? Are curling, wasping, rounded corners, slits and broken edges becoming a problem?
  • Does the chimney or roof-to-wall connection have loosened flashings?
  • What is the condition of the wooden roof deck? Is it rotten or delaminated under the ending row of shingles? Are roof vents noticeable?

Chimney
  • What is the condition of the masonry cap? Is there cracking or breaking?
  • Is the mortar present? Are the bricks stable or are they chipping or missing?
  • Is the chimney straight or is it leaning?

Fascia And Soffits
  • Are the fascia and soffits plastic, wood or aluminum?
  • Are there any unfastened or lost segments?
  • If made out of wood, is their any paint or rot issues?

Drains
  • Do the drains slant down to the downspouts?
  • Is rusting and peeled paint a problem?
  • Are there any leaks or sagging?
  • Do the downspouts face away from the property foundation?

Wall Covering
  • Is mortal solid or is it missing?
  • Is there chipping or breaking of the bricks?
  • Is the siding missing, loose or rotten? Is the paint deteriorating?
  • Is the siding old or new? Does the siding properly cover the foundation wall?
  • Do the exterior walls lean, bow or bulge?

Doors And Windows
  • Are the paint, caulking and wood parts in good condition?
  • Are the windows old or new? Are they recently renovated or are they the initial windows installed? Exactly how old are the windows?

Decks and Porches
  • Is the masonry cracking or chipping?
  • Is the wood-earth contact area in good condition? Is there rotting wood? Paint issues?
  • Is there any settling or separating from the house?
  • Can the underside be inspected?

Foundation
  • Is there damaged masonry, cracks or chipping?
  • Are there water markings present? What about a white, chalky substance known as efflorescence?
  • Any bulge or bowing present? Any noticeable irregularities?
  • Is the mortar hard or soft?

Parking Lot
  • Does the lot slant away from the property?
  • Is the driveway cracked? Are there areas that are low next to the foundation?
  • Does the property sit lower that the adjacent properties or street?

Attic and Basement
  • Is water penetration a problem? Noticeable mildew, stains, efflorescence or chipping tiles?
  • Is the insulation in good condition?

Flooring
  • Are the coverings and ceramics in good condition? Any sign of deterioration?
  • Are water staining or other damages present?
  • Is there any sloping or sagging?

Wall
  • Are windows and doors in working condition?
  • Are the walls vertically and horizontally straight?
  • Is the plaster loose or cracking?
  • Is there staining? Has there been physical damage, or evidence of previous repairs?
  • Are the drywall seams and nails covered or are they showing?

Ceiling
  • Any loose or sagging plaster? Is there cracking plaster?
  • Any previous repairs or mechanical damages? Are there any stains?
  • Are the seams or nails showing?

Kitchen and Bathroom
  • Are all the fixtures secured?
  • Are there any cracks or chipping within the fixtures?
  • Are the tiles and caulking in good condition within the shower/bath area?
  • Is the water pressure satisfactory? Are the faucets in working condition? Do they leak?
  • Are the counter-tops free from staining?
  • Are the drawers and doors of the cabinets functioning?

Electricity and Mechanical Issues
  • What type and style of heating and cooling systems are installed? Have they recently been inspected and serviced?
  • Is there any rusting or corrosion on the pipes and drains. What type of drains and pipes are installed. Is there good water supply?
  • Is the electrical wiring in good condition? What is the size and age of the electrical service? Are the electrical outlets grounded?
  • What are the recent upgrades on the property?

To get a quality home inspection expect to pay upwards of $500. The price is based on the location and size of the home. If you are planning to inspect a smaller space such as an apartment or condominium, you might pay a smaller fee around $150-$200. Paying for an inspector can save you from buying a property that is nothing more than a money pit. The up-font fee that you pay for a quality inspector is well worth the cash!

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