According to a recent survey, most American property buyers believe that a home inspection is simple good sense before a new home purchase. 88 percent of Americans believe an inspection is a necessity, 72 percent said an inspection helped circumvent potential problems in their current home and 64 percent said it saved money in the long run. But how many of us really understand what an inspection involves or how the professionals go about it.
Something to remember is not all inspections or inspectors are the same. The consumer must do their homework first because a badly done inspection can result in expensive repairs down the road. The best way to find a good inspection company is through personal referrals from friends, colleagues, or relatives.
Not all home inspectors are the same; they can be good or bad or middling. Although Texas was the first state to put minimum standards for property inspections in place, not everyone follows these standards.
With the increase in distressed property sales, the importance of home inspections cannot be over emphasized. Distressed properties are often poorly maintained, run down and derelict. So what should a property inspection be covering?
1. Foundations and inadequate crawlspace ventilation. High levels of damp in the wood of the crawlspace can lead to pocket rot, brown rot and collapse of the wood support. All buildings have their own variances and unique circumstances. The foundation isn’t only seen by examining the exterior of the property, but needs a complete evaluation of the building.
2. Drainage. This is a result of the clay soil found in North Central Texas. Found at properties where the building has had prior movement. Where does the water from rainfall drain off to?
3. Roofing material and poor attic ventilation. The roof covering must be professionally evaluated. The best roofing materials deteriorate and need replacement before it is visible to the eye. Mildew on the surface of the roof is a sign that there could be a problem with the attic ventilation.
4. Hazardous gas heating system. Any gas heating system can become a serious health and safety hazard.
5. Insufficient or poorly maintained cooling system. Commonly found in a home with an inadequately sized cooling system not matching the square feet of living space it must cool. Poorly maintained cooling systems are a common problem found during most inspections.
6. Plumbing problems. Is there proper drainage of the sewer system, properly flushing commodes, shower pan leaks or dripping faucets? Most plumbing systems are concealed and need professional assessment.
7. Faulty or improper wiring can be a common problem with older homes. Inspection should include the main electrical panel, wiring used in the system, sample outlets, operation of switches, check of lights and ceiling fans,
8. Termites occur everywhere and are a worry most owners have for their property. A thorough inspection of the property should result in a detailed report.