How to Look

at a House


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

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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.

  1. Bullet The popular realtor’s mantra of “highest and best use” might dictate extensive enlargement and upgrades to a house along with the renovation, to make it comparable with the neighbors. Tear down can also make sense if bringing the existing home to a higher standard will cost as much—or more—than rebuilding on the site.

  2. Bullet At the other end of the spectrum, we occasionally see a renovated house that surpasses the condition and amenities of nearby homes. The homeowners’ “labor of love” renovation went too far and appraised below what they had invested in the property when it was time to sell.

  3. Bullet A designated historic property sometimes cannot be torn down and renovation is the only option.

    So home inspectors like us can provide you with the key, first part of what you need to evaluate a potential renovation project; but you need additional advisors for the complete financial analysis necessary for a good decision.

    To learn more, go to our blogs “Should I buy a fixer-upper?” and “How do I recognize serious structural problems in a 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. What can you tell me about buying a house with structural problems? It’s priced cheap!

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

  3. I love old houses, but my friends warned me against buying one. What’s the problem?

  4. Is this old home a Sears Catalog kit house?

  5. What are the warning signs of a sinkhole?

  6. How do I remove cigarette odor in a house?

  7. What are the warning signs of a dangerous deck?

  8. A “THIS HOME HAS BEEN WINTERIZED” notice posted in a foreclosure home means what?

  9. How dangerous is old electrical wiring?

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

  11. How do I get insurance if my home can’t pass a 4-point inspection?

  12. I’m buying a ‘50s house with a “gravel” roof. Is the roof going to be a problem.

  13. Does my home inspection report give me everything I need to evaluate a house?

  14. I saw some staining on the ceiling. Do you think the roof is okay?

  15. How can I tell if the house needs a roof?

  16. Can I take that wall out? Is it load-bearing?

  17. What can I learn from talking with the seller?

  18. Why do the floors slope in this old house?

  19. What is the average lifespan of a house?

  20. How can I tell when it’s time to paint the house?

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

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

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

  24. How can homebuyers protect themselves against buying a house over a sinkhole?

  25. How can I tell if the exterior walls of a house are concrete block (CBS) or wood or brick?

  26. Why is my stucco cracking?

  27. Should I buy a house with a crawl space?

  28. How can I make sure I don’t get screwed on the home inspection?

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

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