Hidden defects and Home Inspectors

It would be difficult to find a perfect home. But you need to protect yourself against some of the more expensive repairs that you may encounter. Here are some items that you should watch out for before buying a home.

  • Water can find its way into almost everything. Do a visual inspection for stains in the ceiling and also along the baseboards. You most likely will find water damage either in the attic or basement, but that does not preclude it from being just about anywhere else especially in bathrooms and kitchens. Look carefully.
  • It doesn't have to been an older home to have foundation problems. Even some newly constructed homes have been found to have cracks in the foundation. Watch for shifting of the foundation.
  • After a good rain, check the surrounding areas of the lawn for any water that is standing free and also near the foundation. You want good drainage in the yard away from the home.
  • Pesky little termites can cause a lot of problems. Have a specialty company check it out.
  • When your checking for water damage you also want to check the roof. Older roofs will start to have missing shingles, copings that have been blown off, etc. Stains on the ceilings of the top floor is an obvious clue of a roof problem.
  • Make sure your electrical outlets are up to date with ground prongs and good wiring. Check also that the fuse box is adequate for today's requirements.
  • Run the water in the sink and check the pressure and whether or not there is banging noises in the pipes. Either can represent problems that need to be addressed.


You should also invest in a Home Inspector for peace of mind. Before you hire an inspector ask the following questions:

1. Are you a member of the American Association of Home Inspectors? What qualifications do you have?

2. Do you have a current license? Some states don't require a license.

3. How many inspections do you do each year of homes in this area?

4. May I contact some of your previous customers and can you provide contact information?

5. Do you carry professional errors and omission insurance?

6. Do you offer any guarantees?

7. Can you provide me with a checklist of what the inspection will cover?

8. Will I be given a detailed written report and if so, when will I receive it?

9. How do you charge for your services?

10. When can I schedule the inspection and how much time do you need to complete the inspection?

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