More Blog Posts on Home Inspection:

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

  2. Can I do my own home inspection?

  3. Do you see similar problems with houses in the same neighborhood?

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

  5. Should a home inspection scare you?

  6. What should I wear to a home inspection?

  7. What happens at a home inspection?

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

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

  10. Are you licensed and insured?

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

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

  13. What do I need to know about a condo inspection?

  14. Does the home inspector also check for termites?

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

  16. What problems should I look for when buying a country house in a rural area?

  17. What problems do you look for when a house has been vacant or abandoned?

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

  19. How much does a home inspection cost?

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

  21. My bathroom electric receptacle/outlet is dead, and there is no tripped breaker in the electric panel. What’s wrong?

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

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

  24. Do you lift up the carpet to look for cracks in the floor?

  25. What do you inspect in the crawl space under a house?

  26. What are the requirements for a room to classified as a bedroom?

  27. How can I know how much damage there is inside a wall if the inspector found termites in the baseboard?

  28. What can go wrong when a homeowner encloses a porch without a building permit?

  29. Where are smoke alarms required to be located?

  30. Should the seller be at the home inspection?

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

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

  33. What makes a house fail the home inspection?

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

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

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

  37. The seller gave me a report from a previous home inspection. Should I use it or get one of my own?

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

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

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

  41. Do home inspectors inspect outbuildings?

  42. What inspections does a bank or mortgage lender need for loan approval?

  43. Should I buy a house near a high-voltage power line?

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. Is the hot water plumbed to the left faucets and the cold to the right?

  2. Does the water heater work?

  3. Do all the drains flow without backups or leakage?

  4. Is the septic system functional?

  5. Do all the hose faucets work, including at the washing machine?

  6. Is the water pressure adequate? Is there sufficient water flow at all fixtures?

  7. Is the landscape sprinkler system functional in all zones, with no damaged heads or gushers?

   With electricity is locked off, here’s a list of more things we can’t tell you:

  1. Are all the breakers in the electric panel functional, delivering power to their circuits?

  2. Does the wiring have any short-circuits that might start a fire?

  3. Are all the electric receptacles live?

  4. Are the receptacles grounded and wired correctly?

  5. Do any GFCI or AFCI-receptacles trip as required when tested?

  6. Do the ceiling fans and lights work?

  7. Is the hard-wired smoke alarm system functional?

  8. Are the switches functional?

  9. Does the air conditioning and electric heat work?

  10. Does the refrigerator, range, and range hood fan work?

  11. Is the electric dryer functional?

  12. Is the well pump functional? Does it short-cycle?

   With the natural gas service locked off at the meter, or an empty or disconnected LP-gas tank, here’s more questions we can’t answer:

  1. Does the gas furnace function properly?

  2. Is the gas water heater working properly?

  3. How about the gas dryer?

  4. Does the gas range and oven work?

  5. Are they any leaks in the gas lines?

  6. Does the gas fireplace work?

   It’s a sensible policy for homebuyers to assume that any component of the home that can’t be tested should be assumed to be non-functional. Yes, some items will be working fine when the utilities are turned back on, but what percentage? And how much of a gambler are you?

   To learn more about the home inspection process, we suggest reading several of our other blogs. Check out “What questions should I ask a home inspector I’m considering hiring?” for HUD’s ten suggested questions for evaluating a potential home inspector. To get a list of suggested items to bring with you to improve your home inspection experience, see “What should I bring to the home inspection?”. See “What questions should I ask the home inspector during the inspection?” for ways to get the information you need from the inspector. And visit “What is the best way to negotiate repairs after the home inspection?” for tips on working with your realtor to get any necessary repairs worked out with the seller.


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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