The housing market continues to prove to be a tough bubble to burst, though the Recession is technically over. Nevertheless, many are stepping into the housing market and the good folks at NeighborWorks have posted the video you see above on their blog and at YouTube. Home inspection is not necessarily a make-or-break moment in the decision process. One might freely choose to purchase a house with a notably low rating, for example. But the point of inspection is to help ensure all parties are aware of hidden – and not-so-hidden – damage or obsolescence in a house. The video shows you some of the concerns a professional home inspector will be looking for when she or his is brought to the property.
The inspectors within the video stress the need for a systematic look from the outside in and from the basement to attic. Some of the stuff is obvious (damaged concrete steps? torn siding? moldy baseboards in bathroom? …), but the tougher question might be the timing of what is found. For example, is the damaged stucco on the back porch from thirty years of family life or from a series of repairs that suggest an untreated deeper problem?
Another point that requires due diligence is the utility infrastructure of the house. Our computers and coffee machines and space heaters have changed faster than the utility boxes in our homes. When reviewing a house for purchase, be sure its fuse box, heating and air-conditioning units, water heater, etc., are new enough to handle the expected work load. If they are within a reasonable time frame, can the owner (or, nowadays, the bank’s realtor) provide maintenance histories? Be sure you are keeping one as well!
Purchasing a home is fraught with familial and budgetary stresses, but the rewards can be great. Inspections are meant to mitigate stress and to flush out unforeseen costs or hazards. If you are in the market, watch the video, bookmark the Neighborworks website, and arm yourself with as much information as you can.