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Avoiding hidden costs when buying a home
 

When buying a home, don’t ignore physical inspection of the home and property by a qualified and objective professional home inspector, especially a resale home, without a physical inspection would be like buying a used car without taking it to a mechanic first. A thorough professional home inspection lasts approximately 2-3 hours or more. During the inspection, the inspector examines the house from the ground up, covering 100’s of items in the home. This would include heating, plumbing, electrical, appliances, structural components of the roof, foundation, basement and exterior and interior.

Here is an overview to check yourself. However, there is no substitute for the benefits of using a professional home inspector.

Roof – Average Life Spans

bullet Composite Shingles 15-22 years
bullet Wood Shingle 15-20 years
bullet Heavy Shake 25-30 years
bullet Tile 40 plus years

Electrical System Overview

bullet Check all of the outlets with an electrical tester.
bullet Look for exposed wiring.
bullet Check the service panel for "tripped" breakers or "blown" fuses.

Heating

bullet Activate the thermostat to the "on" position.
bullet Walk around the house and check the vents for air flow.

Water Pressure

bullet Go into the bathroom, turn on sinks, shower, and flush the toilet.
bullet Check all plumbing fixtures in the kitchen.

Pipes/Plumbing

bullet Examine floor areas around the tub and shower.
bullet Check all pipes, especially at joints for visible corrosion, especially at the water heater.

Doors/windows

bullet Open and close all windows and doors:
windows should open easily, doors should close easily in the frame.

Drainage

bullet Look for evidence of pond (standing water), discoloration, sunken elevations, trees that are growing at angles.
bullet Check the gutters and downspouts.

Structural/Room Additions

bullet Check the year the structure was built, zoning, etc. with the tax rolls or the local city/municipal building inspection department regarding permits.

Appliance Check

bullet Oven – turn oven to 350 degree F – check the oven temperature in 10 minutes.
bullet Range – ignite burners and smell for any gas odor, or, for electric ranges, check to see if they are hot.
bullet Dishwasher – let the cycle run through.
bullet Other appliances – check garbage disposal, hood/fans, trash compactors, etc.

               

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Copyright 2007, John MK Lam,  RE/MAX - City Realty. All rights reserved