What we like about Housecall is their service.  It has been many months since our home inspection, and my wife and I still call them to ask questions.  They always take the time to talk with us and we never feel rushed.  This is our first home, and it is nice knowing you have someone you can call.  They deliver on their promise.        -  Mr. & Mrs. Pickard, San Diego

Blog Inspections 101 Important Home Inspection Tips for Buyers
Important Home Inspection Tips for Buyers
Inspections 101
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The purpose of all home inspections is to provide important information to both the buyer and seller. Inspection of the home is just one of several steps that will need to be taken in purchasing a home. The home inspection report can help lay the groundwork for a number of possible scenarios such as negotiating for the cost of repairs, having repairs completed prior to completing the sale, or even deciding that the home is not right for you after all. The following tips will help you get the most out of the inspection process.
carmel valley home1. Plan to attend the home inspection.
A first-hand perspective is needed if you truly wish to understand the condition of the home. A professional inspector will encourage you to attend so that you will be able to clearly understand any problems listed on the home inspection report. It may become difficult, it not impossible, to effectively negotiate with the seller if you do not understand what the problems are, or how severe they are.
2. Look for signs of foundation movement.
Foundation problems are quite common and can be very costly to repair. Grade sloping can lead to cracks, and these cracks can the lead to the need for costly repairs in the future. Your home inspector will know the warning signs to look for, but you too can look for common problems associated with foundation issues. Windows and doors that no longer open or close correctly, visible cracks in the foundation, and uneven floors are often associated with foundation movement.
3. Inspect all elements of the electrical system.
Older homes tend to be the ones that are most likely to have problems with the electrical systems. Insufficient wiring can cause overheating and present a fire hazard. It may also not be able to support the load of larger electronics. Be on the lookout for flickering lights which may point to an electrical short somewhere in the system. If your home features knob and tube wiring, be advised that it may be difficult to obtain insurance due to the increased risk of fire.
4. Know your deal breakers.
No home is without its share of problems. It is helpful to prepare yourself in advance by deciding what will or will not be a deal breaker. Mold, termite infestation, faulty foundation, failing roof systems and significant electrical issues may all be problems that are larger than you are willing to deal with. Some of these may even be hazardous to your heath. Decide in advance what lengths you are willing to go to in order to own the home.
5. Choose your home inspector wisely.
In many locations there are no specific standards that must be met in order to become a home inspector. It will be your task to select an inspector that is certified and experienced. Inspectors who belong to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, or another reputable organization such as the American Society of Home Inspectors are typically good choices. 
6. Ask that details be included on the home inspection report.
A comprehensive description should be provided for each item on the inspection report. A label of "poor" or "good" may leave you with questions. Request in advance that descriptions be provided. Should you receive a report that includes vague words or difficult to understand terminology, contact the inspector and ask for further clarification.
7. Make sure that the utilities are still on.
The utilities may be turned off in homes that are vacant. Should they be off when the home inspector arrives, the inspection will need to be re-scheduled which sometimes results in additional fees payable by the buyer. The advantage of the inspection of a vacant home is that they are typically completely empty which makes a comprehensive visual inspection much easier. However, when the home is allowed to sit for a period of time deterioration of major systems can be accelerated.
8. Examine home inspection reports.
Home inspection reports can vary greatly and some will be very brief checklist-style documents, while others will be comprehensive narratives with photos. Feel free to ask your home inspector for a sample report prior to the inspection, which will give you time to review inspection reports from several companies. This review can help you determine what the inspector will include during the evaluation of the home. Some inspection companies even use different report formats for different levels of service. Be sure to ask so you know what you will be getting in the end.

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Darin Redding
Written on Thursday, 18 October 2012 00:00 by Darin Redding

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Housecall Property Inspections

Housecall Property Inspections
6826 Millbrook St.
San Diego, CA 92120