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In general - here are items that a home inspector looks for:
  • The inspection generally starts on the exterior of the home to check for grading and drainage problems that can affect the foundation of the home.
  • The roof and the exterior of the home before going inside. 
  • All faucets will run at the same time to check for leaks or slow drains.
  • The furnace and air conditioning, water heater and electrical system including all accessible outlets and switches.
  • Each room windows and doors checking for accessibility.
  • Finally, inspect the attic, crawl space or basement foundation.
Here are items that are usually highlighted:
  1. Older roofs that are 15 years or older and maybe two or more layers.
  2. Overhead electrical wires that are too close to the ground. They should be 10 feet out of reach at their lowest point of access.
  3. Loose toilet bowls and/or plumbing leaks. Check for stains under the bathrooms and kitchen.
  4. Plumbing cross connections. The drains from a water softener or water heater cannot be inside a sewer opening.
  5. Homeowners wiring repairs that are not safe. This includes wiring that has been added, open junction boxes and wiring that has been improperly spliced. Electrical panel should be adequate to service the home. Older 60-amp panels should be upgraded.
  6. A wet basement or crawlspace.
  7. Bedroom windows that do not open easily or will not stay open. This is important for emergency egress.
  8. Look for tampered windows near a tub or shower drain or windows that are so large and are so easily accessible that they are required to be tempered for safety.
  9. An older furnace, air conditioner or water heater that is near the end of its useful life expectancy.
  10. Steps - either inside or outside where the risers are too tall or are too small and not uniform in height.
  11. Improper and unsafe handrails and guardrails.
  12. Unsafe wood deck support posts, floor joists and fastening systems.
  13. Cracked concrete that could be a trip hazard.

More information on home inspections guidelines here.

Homeowners or homebuyers - how to prepare for home inspections: 

  1. Check for cracks or leaks outside normal field of vision.
  2. Move furnitures away from walls to check for leaks, cracks, incomplete painting jobs and to check on electrical outlets.
  3. Check underneath rugs for damage.
  4. Check summer screens and the winter storm windows. If buying in the summer time, check radiators and turn off air conditioning. Reverse in the winter time.
  5. Visit different time of the day to gauge street noise.
  6. Turn all appliances to make that everything is working. Check water pressure while dishwasher and washing machine is running.
  7. Garage should be empty and measure it to determine if both cars will fit.
  8. Get pets out of the house and advise if neighbors own any aggressive dogs.
  9. Get estimate for ongoing maintenance on a condominium.
  10.  All pilot lights should be lit and burning..
  11. If appliances burn propane or fuel tank, make sure that there is sufficient fuel in the tanks.
  12. Turn active alarm systems off unless instructed otherwise.
  13. Turn off computers because the electric power will be turned on and off. Fireplaces should not be obstructed.
  14. Air-conditioning vents should not be blocked or obstructed.
  15. Electrical panels/breaker boxes should be unobstructed.
  16. Area around water heaters must be completely cleared.
  17. The inspector must be able to move around the attics, crawl spaces and basements.
  18. Provide keys and codes for complete access to the property.
  19. Trim bushes and plants away from water faucets, exterior dryer vents and air conditioner.
  20. Clean and replace A/C filters, range hood and other filters around the house.
  21. Remove everything from the tub/shower and items on top of the toilet tank lid.
  22. Remove items from under the sink to check the water cut-off valves.

Finally regardless of the home inspection, homes will break. There will be quirks that only reveal themselves after living in the home for a few months. Some of these repairs may be covered under Home Warranty.

If no one will be present during inspection, leave the seller's cell phone number for any questions. A selling broker should always attend a home inspection. 

Posted by Sam Kader on April 16th, 2016 9:24 AM
  1. Down market can be some of the best times to buy since there are more houses, flexibility pricing and attractive incentives to buy.
  2. Have exit contingencies when signing the Purchase and Sale Agreement.
  3. Read the contract thoroughly.
  4. Have a home inspection. It's the best $400 investment in real estate.
  5. Have a Pre-Approval to determine buying power and affordability.
  6. Location, Location, Location. Rate a neighborhood through walkability.

Other factors that are important in assessing the sustainability of property's value in the region:

  1. Low un-enmployment.
  2. High household income.
  3. Diverse industries to weather local and world economic downturns. 
  4. Research facilities.
  5. Large or prominent universities.
  6. Low crime rates.
  7. Good public schools and parks.
  8. Pleasing views.
  9. Distinctive architecture and a variety of retail stores.
  10. Educated population.
  11. Foreclosed properties? Use this calculator to estimate the final tally.
Posted by Sam Kader on October 9th, 2011 7:46 PM

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