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Home Inspections                        

A home inspection is simply a visual inspection of a structure and property, made by a trained and qualified professional. This inspector should be able to accurately assess the condition of a home based on appearance and a walk through. The initial inspection does not involve any intrusive procedures, but may identify some further follow-up inspections that may be necessary. It is the responsibility of the inspector to identify items such as leaks, mold, visual damage, apparent structural damage and any other elements that may affect your decision to purchase the home in question. They should also identify and detail areas that may need repair in the near future, but are not in critical shape.

 Every aspect of the home is considered during a proper inspection. The following areas are of critical importance:

 1. Chimneys - Older chimneys can be a fire hazard if they have not been up kept properly. They can also be a prime area for leakage if the base flashing has deteriorated or was not installed properly. Many things can compromise the safety of a chimney such as damaged fireboxes, damaged brick, cracked flue liners and deteriorated dampers.

 2. Electrical - This is one of the most important inspection sites as faulty electrical wiring is the cause of many home fires every year. Inspectors will consider connections at the entry point (overhead wires), the main panel, outlets inside and outside and the service size or rated amperage of the panel. One of the most common problems in the electrical system is “Did It Yourself” (DIY) wiring jobs. Be sure that the wiring work on your home was done by a certified electrician. By using licensed contractors, you can be assured that the work done is up to code, and will not mistakenly overload the circuits.

 3. Exterior - The most important aspect of the exterior of the home is whether or not it is watertight. An inspection will determine the type of sealants used in construction, the materials used for the outer shell of the home, and the present condition of these materials. Proper inspection will indicate the level of water intrusion and weather wear on the exterior of the home. The most common cause of exterior distress is a lack of maintenance by the owner.

 4. Fireplaces - The most common problem with fireplaces is creosote buildup in the flue, firebox deterioration, and improper materials utilized for gas connections and natural gas lines. Also faulty connections on gas fireplaces are often seen.  Stereotypically there are fewer problems with closed and contained gas fireplaces than there are with older open wood burning fireplaces.

 5. Foundations - The foundation of your home is of paramount importance. A good inspection will ensure that there is no cracking or bowing, that they aren't susceptible to frost-induced uplift or that any other land based concerns like soil erosion or water intrusion. Also the inspection should ensure that any additions to the home have not damaged the foundations in any way.

 6. Framing - Inferior framing is evident if the walls seem bowed or if gaps have appeared above the doors. This can mean that there is insufficient header support. Bowed walls can also mean that poor quality lumber was used in the construction of the home.

 7. Furnaces - Proper inspection will ensure that the burner, the blower, and the heat exchanger are all in working order. It should also ensure that there are low levels of carbon monoxide being produced, and that no rusting or debris is clogging up the works.

 8. Garages - Many of the same code standards of a home also apply to a garage. The more common mistakes in garages are things such as DIY wiring, unsafe overhead door mechanisms, and improper firewall separation between the house and garage.  Also the lack of a fire rated door between the home and attached garages is seen quite often.

 9. Insulation & Ventilation - This can be one of the most common causes of high heating bills. A lack of sufficient insulation can also cause moisture problems and cost the homeowner a lot of money. Water damage can cause deterioration in the roof itself if left unchecked. 10. Plumbing - The most common plumbing problems occur when someone has done a DYI job on the plumbing without knowing what they are doing. All materials, internal and external supply lines, and waste lines should be up to code. Is there adequate water pressure or too much? These and many other considerations will be made during a proper inspection.

11. Shingles & Roof - The roof is one of the most important areas to inspect on a home. Shingles and roofs have a finite life span and can easily be damaged by the elements. Usual life span of a roof is 20-25 years, how much life does the current roof have left?   Flat foam roofs, often seen in desert areas, need proper re-coating ever 3 to five years.  If not maintained, the inspector will note damaged areas

12. Support Structure - This is the area where dry rot is most common. Inspection will show where these structures have been modified or changed. DYI alterations are common and can lead to dry rot and other deterioration.

13. Water Heaters - The most common problems with water heaters are due to improper venting, or leakage and corrosion. DYI jobs are a major cause of concern with improperly installed pressure relief valves or bad connections on gas lines or electrical supply connections.   In earthquake prone areas, water heaters are required to be properly strapped to support walls.  The inspector will check for the proper strapping and venting.

14. Windows & Doors - The windows and doors in a home can be a major factor in heat loss and high energy bills. A proper inspection will check all areas for signs of rotting, failed seals, un-insulated windows and doors, and old or rotted caulking.

All of the above items should be considered and explained in a proper inspection. By knowing the process you will enable yourself to have a more active role in the inspection of the home. Knowing which questions to ask an inspector can help to reveal a wealth of information that could change your mind on the purchase of a home. If any of these areas do not pass an inspection, ensure that they are repaired by the current owner before you go forward with the purchase. The most common method to achieve this is to make the repairs a "subject" on the sale. Now, contact your Realtor and let him or her help you find the home of your dreams!

Be sure to check out the following real estate sites for more valuable information!

Littleton Real Estate: Our team of professionals serves the Denver, Colorado area selling single family homes, lofts and condos. Allow us to put our experience to work for you.

Find Marathon real estate and more at Florida State Info.

Myrtle Beach Realtor
Your one-stop source for real estate services covering the Surfside Beach, Murrells Inlet, Litchfield Beach, Pawleys Island, and Myrtle Beach, SC areas. With a focus on exceptional service, you'll find everything you'll need from complete MLS listings, valuable home value calculation tools, and comprehensive area information!

www.nationalrentalproperties.com is a great source for Rental Properties all across the United States.

 

 
   

   

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1081 N Palm Canyon Drive

Palm Springs, CA  92262

Phone: (760) 325-4500

Fax: (760) 406-5085

CA DRE License # 01359429

 Equal Housing Opportunity     Realtor