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2014-03-27 16:36:54
Top 10 things to check during your home inspection

1. The roof. What is the overall condition (are there curled shingles, granules missing from shingles)? When was it last replaced? Are there trees touching it? This is a high ticket item so you really need to know about your roof.

2. The foundation. Look at the base of the walls and the ceilings in each room. Are there obvious cracks or apparent shifts in the foundation? Large cracks signify a problem. Cracking is very common so ask your home inspector if they are worrisome. Look around the outside. Are there any trees encroaching on the foundation? 

3. The furnace and cooling system. Does it seem to do the job? How old is the furnace? Is the furnace original to the home or has it been upgraded? 

4. The electrical system. Do the switches work? Are there any obvious malfunctions? Have the outlets been grounded? Is the panel updated and expandable for additional appliances or a potential remodel? Are there uncovered junction boxes? Is there a mixture of old and new wiring (this can be dangerous if not properly addressed). Your home inspector can advise you of potential issues.

5. The plumbing. Are there any visiable leaks in the home? Has the sewer line been scoped to check for potential cracks? If you are in an older home this is particularly important as sewer repairs or replacement are very expensive.

6. Check for moisture or drainage issues. Check the ceilings and around windows in each room for moisture. Does the exterior drainage appear to be away from the house? Are there any obvious soggy areas? Is there an odor in the house? Beware of musty odors which could be a sign of a wet basement or other moisture condition.

7. Radon. Radon is a cancer causing radioactive gas that is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the US (source: Utah Department of Environmental Quality). Certain areas have higher risk of radon so consult your real estate agent or home inspector to find out if you should test for radon. In most cases, it is wise to test for it.  To learn more about radon, visit: http://www.radon.utah.gov.

8. Exterior issues. Does the house look like it will need repairs or repainting soon? Are gutters and downspouts firmly attached? Are there loose boards or dangling wires? Are there stains or holes in the stucco?

9. Appliances. If these are included, what is the age and condition of the stove, dishwasher or refrigerator? These are high ticket items so you should know when to budget to replace them.

10. Chimney and Fireplace. An inspection of the chimney and each fireplace will check for loose bricks and mortar, assess the overall stability and check for obstructions within the chimney. In older homes the chimney will often be deteriorated and can be a hazard if bricks fall off.

 
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