1. 4)Old roof? - Have it pressure washed to look newer. Roof washing, even by professionals, is painfully obvious to an inspector and reduces the tab adhesion at the front edge of the shingles, which shortens the rated remaining life of the roof.

  2. 5)Hole in the wall? Put a poster over it or hang a rug on the wall. We can’t look behind everything hung on the walls or pushed up against them so, unfortunately, it is typical to find some wall damage that the home inspector couldn’t see after the seller has moved out. Ice maker broken? Fill the bin with store-bought ice. We check, and can tell the difference.

  3. 6)Don’t want the inspector examining everything too carefully? Claim not to know that it would take so long, and insist that the inspectors hurry up and leave soon. We will not be rushed, and explain that we have to reschedule to return to the house at another time to complete the inspection if it is necessary to leave early, and there is a reinspection fee that the seller will have to pay.

  4. 7)Want to distract the inspector? Follow us around and ask lots of questions. Insist on giving a tour of the house. We will ask you to go away and let us do our work.

  5. 8)Dishwasher broken? Tell the inspector that the repairman is coming later today, so don’t put it in the report. We still put it in the report.

  6. 9) Don’t want the inspector looking around in the attic or the crawl space? Pile a lot of boxes and heavy items around the opening. We will ask you to move them or request permission to move them ourselves.

   Most home inspections go smoothly and, ideally, the seller is not even present. We always say we have “seen it all” when it comes to a seller’s concealment of defects, but every so often we discover a new trick to add to the list.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •• • •

  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.
©2015 - McGarry and Madsen Inspection. -


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

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