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How to Look

at a House


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

  1. 2)What you see will be similar to what you can’t see - People are usually consistent in the quality of their work and attention to detail. If the fit and finish of what is visible looks sloppy, it’s likely that what you can’t see is the same or worse.

  2. 3)Check for the little things indicate good workmanship - All joints and seams should been caulked before painting, with a paint finish that is even with crisp edges. Tile joints ought to  align accurately over a uniformly flat surface, and doors and windows should open, close, and latch easily. These things are a given for professional work, but should be checked at a homeowner project.

  3. 4)Look carefully at the quality of the materials - The big box home improvement stores where homeowners get most of their supplies offer budget quality cabinetry, laminate wood flooring, and fixtures that don’t hold up well over time. They sell top quality materials too, but take a look at the interior surfaces of the cabinets and get down on your knees and examine the flooring close-up to get a feel for the quality of what has been installed.

    Homeowner-remodeled homes often have character and charming idiosyncrasies not found in the work of professional contractors, and that makes them worth considering. The ones that hired pros for plumbing and electrical, while doing the rest of the work themselves, are your best choice. Just be sure to check the functional and safety aspects of any non-professional work before buying.

   To learn more valuable strategies for getting the best possible home inspection, here’s a few of our other blog posts:

  1. How can I make sure I don’t get screwed on my home inspection?

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

  3. Can I do my own home inspection?

  4. How can homebuyers protect themselves against buying a home over a sinkhole?

  5. What makes a house fail the home inspection?

  6. The seller gave me an old home inspection report from a previous home inspection. Should I use it or get my own inspector?

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

    To read about issues related to homes of particular type or one built in a specific decade, visit one of these blog posts:

  1. What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1950s house?

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

  3. What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1970s house?

  4. What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1980s house?

  5. What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1990s house?

  6. What problems should I look for when buying a country house or rural property?

  7. What problems should I look when when buying a house that has been moved?

  8. What problems should I look for when buying a house that has been vacant or abandoned?

  9. What are the most common problems with older mobile homes?

  10. What should I look for when buying a “flipper” house?

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

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.
© McGarry and Madsen Inspection


More Blog Posts on Similar Subjects:

  1. Should a home inspection scare you?

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

  3. Are you licensed and insured?

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

  5. Is a home inspection required?

  6. Should I be there for the inspection?

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

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

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

  10. Can I do my own home inspection?

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

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

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

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

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

  16. What happens at a home inspection?

  17. Does the home inspector also check for termites?

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

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

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

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

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

  23. Should the seller be at the home inspection?

  24. What is the average lifespan of a house?

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

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

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

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

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

  30. What is a “continuous load path”?

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

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

  33. What is a “cosmetic” defect in a home inspection?

  34. Where are the funny home inspection pictures?

  35. Should I follow the inspector around during the inspection?

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

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

  38. Does my home have to be inspected to get insurance?

  39. Who should pay for the home inspection?

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

  41. What are the most Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) at a home inspection?

  42. What are the common causes of ceiling stains in a house?

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

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