How to Look

at a House


A blog with answers
to your questions about
HOME INSPECTION
and HOME MAINTENANCE


More Blog Posts on Similar Subjects:

  1. Why do realtors call some home inspectors “deal killers”?

  2. What do you check in a mobile home inspection?

  3. Should a home inspection scare you?

  4. What is the difference between an appraisal and a home inspection?

  5. Are you licensed and insured?

  6. We looked at the house carefully, and it seems alright. Do we really need a home inspection?

  7. Is a home inspection required?

  8. Does a recent termite company inspection sticker mean there are no termites?

  9. Should I be there for the inspection?

  10. What tools do you use for a home inspection?

  11. Is it common for an insurance company to require an inspection?

  12. The seller has to fix everything you find wrong with the house, right?

  13. Can I do my own home inspection?

  14. Is it still possible to do an inspection if there’s no electricity or water?

  15. What’s the difference between a roof inspection and a roofing estimate?

  16. Should I hire an engineer to inspect the house?

  17. Do inspectors go on the roof? Do they get in the attic?

  18. What should I look for when buying a former rental house?

  19. What happens at a home inspection?

  20. How do sellers try to fool the home inspector?

  21. Does the home inspector also check for termites?

  22. What different types of specialized inspections can I get?

  23. What are the questions a home inspector won’t answer?

  24. What is the difference between a building inspector and a home inspector?

  25. What do I need to know about buying a 1950s house?

  26. What is the difference between a home inspection and a final walkthrough inspection?

  27. Should the seller be at the home inspection?

  28. What is the average lifespan of a house?

  29. What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1960s home?

  30. Should I use my realtor’s home inspector or choose one myself?

  31. Should I use a contractor or a home inspector to inspect a house I’m buying?

  32. Should I get a home inspection before signing a contract to buy the house?

  33. What makes a house fail the home inspection?

  34. Can a home inspector do repairs to a house after doing the inspection?

  35. What is a “continuous load path”?

  36. When did the first Florida Building Code (FBC) begin and become effective?

  37. Should I trust the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement?

  38. Should I only hire an inspector that is a member of a national association like ASHi, InterNACHI, or NAHI?

  39. What are the warning signs of a sinkhole?

  40. Should I follow the home inspector around during the inspection?

  41. What are the green plastic discs in the ground around the house?

  42. Why are expired building permits a problem for both the seller and buyer of a home?

  43. Do home inspectors test all the appliances?

  44. How can I reduce the risk of an expensive surprise when buying a house sight unseen?

  45. What does a home inspector mean by calling something “not readily accessible”?

  46. Do I need a home inspection to get insurance?

  47. Who should pay for the home inspection?

  48. What tips do first-time homebuyers need to know to get a better home inspection?

  49. What are the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) at a home inspection?

  50. Can you do a home inspection in the rain?

  51. Does a home inspector give cost estimates for repairs?

  52. Are there any minimum inspection standards that a Florida licensed home inspector must meet?

  53. Can a Florida licensed contractor do home inspections without having a home inspector license?

Welcome to our blog!
We want you to be an informed homebuyer, and each blog post is a question that we have answered for our friends and customers over the years. Hope they help you make a good choice for your next home.

   Home inspectors typically do not note defects like dirty carpet, damaged window treatments or nail holes in the wall, but do report on items such as pitted marcite (plaster finish on pool shell), cracked window panes, and damaged hard flooring. Although they are listed as cosmetic items in the real estate contract, the buyer needs be aware of these items since they represent a future repair expense for them. Also, we do not specify which defects are cosmetic.

    Brand new homes are a little different. The buyers expect that everything, including the cosmetic items, are perfect when they receive their newly built home. So we report on paint defects, chips, and scratches that would not be noted for a resale home.

    One of the cosmetic items that sometimes becomes necessary for either the seller or buyer to repair before the sale is a roof that is at the end of its life—but is not leaking. Many insurance companies want verification that a home that is 15 years old or more has a roof with a minimum of 5 years of life remaining before they will insure it. Curling shingles, although listed as cosmetic, is a definitive sign that a roof is at the end of its lifespan, and an inspector cannot give the roof much additional life at that point. So the buyer can’t get reasonably-priced insurance, and something has to be worked out.

    Also, as some cosmetic defects deteriorate further, they slide out of the cosmetic category. Pitted marcite, for example, that has advanced to the point where there are rust stains at the pitted areas means that water has gotten to the steel reinforcing bars inside the concrete pool shell, and chunks of concrete will begin popping off soon. It becomes a structural problem.

   Local realtor Barbara Vineyard, of Green Tree Realty, likes to get pricing for repair of cosmetic items that worry the buyer as a way to make sure they don’t become an overblown issue. Cosmetic repairs do not, by definition, affect the functionality of a home, so they can usually be postponed for a while.


While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
©2015 - McGarry and Madsen Inspection.

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