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.


More Blog Posts on Similar Subjects:

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

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

  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. Should I be there for the inspection?

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

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

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

  12. Can I do my own home inspection?

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

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

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

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

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

  18. What happens at a home inspection?

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

  20. Does the home inspector also check for termites?

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

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

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

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

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

  26. Should the seller be at the home inspection?

  27. What is the average lifespan of a house?

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

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

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

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

  32. What makes a house fail the home inspection?

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

  34. What is a “continuous load path”?

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

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

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

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

  39. Where are the funny home inspection pictures?

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

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

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

  43. I can’t find a local home inspector. What should I do?

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

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

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

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

  1. 2)Tour the neighborhood on Google Maps “Street View”® - Nothing beats actually walking or driving up and down the nearby streets to get a feel for a neighborhood, but the street views and aerial views on Google Maps will give you a good idea of what nearby properties look like and how they are maintained.

  2. 3)Search the internet using the home address, nearby addresses, and name of neighborhood  or homeowner association - It’s amazing what you can find out about the area by poking around the internet for while—including local crime reports—but, it’s equally amazing that some of what you find will be outdated or inaccurate. So consider the source when collecting internet data.
        Many cities and counties now have their building permit records available online, so you can check to see what work was done to the house and when. You may need the property assessor’s parcel number for the search, although most will also search permits by the address. Matching up permit records to the seller’s listing of recent home improvements will tell you whether permits were pulled or not, and if a final inspection approval was issued.

  3. 4)Hire a home inspector - If you tell the inspector that you are buying the house sight unseen, you may be able to get additional photos of the property along with the usual ones illustrating the defects observed. This can be helpful because sometimes the images provided by the realtor have been “enhanced” to make rooms appear larger than they actually are, and parts of the home that are not-so-pretty get omitted in the sales photos.
        The inspector can also advise you on evidence of current or previous water damage events, and a WDO (termite) inspection is always a good idea. An experienced inspector can also tell you about any history of other problems that are common in the neighborhood, such as clay soil or sinkhole activity.

  4. 5)Have a friend that lives nearby tour the house - A good friend’s opinion can be invaluable. But if you choose a family member, and they really want you to move there or would prefer you choose another neighborhood they think is better, be prepared to get a biased report.


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.
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