Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Things someone who has owned their house for a long time needs to know about home inspection

Home inspection is a very personal activity to the home owner, not unlike the first prostate exam if you are a guy in your 40's.  Subjecting your house and all your stuff  to an impartial detailed examination by someone who won't even tell you what's he's writing down can be intimidating, frustrating and annoying. Here are a few things to remember  to make things easier for you:

1) The inspection is not judging your lifestyle or hygiene;  unless your house is a grow-op, or a meth lab.

2) Your taxidermy elephant is not interesting.

3) Don't follow the inspector around so you can rebut what they say about your house, they will  tell your realtor to drag you away.

4) If you did not pay for the report, don't expect to see a copy of it. Inspectors give this information only to the person paying for their service.

5) The buyer is going to use the inspection as a negotiating tool, inspectors don't usually offer cost estimates and most buyers will estimate the cost of repairs at 3-5 times more than they really are.

6) Hiring an inspector before you  sell  your house is a good idea;  we get more work and you get an impartial opinion about what an inspector is going to find when they look at your house,  you can then either fix the stuff  or set a realistic price.

7) Inspectors don't care about décor: décor is  the wooden elephant collection of construction, your love of red paint is not a concern.

8) Unless you are prepared to warranty your basement until the end of time, don't say it can't possibly leak.

9) Inspectors have seen some weird shite;  houses that defy gravity or the laws of physics, we know the truth from fiction and for most things there is only one right way.

10) Spray leak sealers do not work.

11) It's not about you, it's about selling your house. Do everything you can to make someone want to buy it.

12 When your realtor tells you to hide all your wooden elephants to stage the home, don't pile them up in the utility room, please.

13) Inspectors will probably dribble a little insulation on the floor under the attic hatch, this is not a reason to demand the whole house get new carpets.

14) The inspector is the messenger.

Some stuff you can do that doesn't cost much and makes a positive impression:

1) Have a supply of clean furnace filters by the furnace.

2) Make sure there is a drip tube on the hot water tank.

3) Fix the humidifier.

4) Fix the dryer vent.

5) Check the attic hatch, make sure it can be removed without spilling insulation all over everywhere, put down a matt if it can't.

6) Label your circuit breakers, block any open slots in the panel.

7) Make sure your exterior plugs are in good working order, ground fault protected and have weather proof covers.

8) Don't repaint the basement floor or the concrete walls. You can't hide water leaks with paint or spray sealer.  Fresh paint is a give away.

9) Test all your shut off valves and have them fixed, while the plumber is at it, install flexible stainless steel supply tubes at every device.

10) If the roof needs to be replaced, either replace it or know how much it will actually cost to have it done. Don't reshingle just the worn part.

11) Clean under all the sinks, repair the drain leaks.

12) If someone died in your house, ask your realtor or lawyer if you need to disclose this;  as long as the body isn't still there, the house inspector is not concerned.

13) Kilz makes a great stain coverup paint  that will match, sort of, the colour of your ceiling, inspectors however, look for this as an indication of a leak and will want to get insulation on the floor and double check the attic.

14) The main concern with the garage will be that you have a safety sensor on the door opener, if you don't, upgrade the opener because yours is over 20 years old and should have been upgraded anyway.

15) Have good leaders on your downspouts, if you don't know what a leader is, ask. If you ran over it with the lawn mower, replace it.

16) A "pet friendly" home inspector has milk bones in his pocket, if your dog is vegan or has an allergy to milk bones, don't leave it in the house during the inspection.

17) If you smoke dope in your house, deduct $10,000.00 from the price, incense stinks.

18) Hide your guns.

Home inspection is a non-invasive examination of the physical property with the specific intent of establishing the overall condition of the subject.  A good inspector will find the flaws so the buyer knows what they are getting into. A professional inspector will never say "don't buy this house, or this house is way over priced" that is not our job.


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