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Property Inspection

April 16th, 2016 9:24 AM by Salim (Sam) Kader MLO# 130505

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. Is the land graded away from or toward the home? Are there plants that are too close to the siding? Are roots growing into the foundation?
  • 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. Are there any signs of leaks? Are there appropriate vents, rain caps? Does the home have appropriate gutters? What is siding made of and what condition is it in?
  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. The inspector may run water in faucets for a significant amount of time to ensure there are no leaks, to confirm water pressure, flow and drainage are all appropriate. 
  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. Inspectors will check outlets to ensure they are grounded properly. They will make sure GFCI outlets work as intended. They will check the electric box, remove the panel and make sure there are no double taps, old wiring, spaces with no covers or other issues. 
  6. A wet basement or crawlspace.They will check the attic and basement for cracks leaks water drainage, insulation. 
  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. How old are they? Do units that can be tested and work correctly? Are the filters, piping, controls, venting, valves and other parts of the system all working properly?
  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. Are there patios or paths and are there cracks or structural issues?
  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 Salim (Sam) Kader MLO# 130505 on April 16th, 2016 9:24 AM



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