Monday, February 20, 2012


A physical property inspection is something that I will recommend to every buyer, every time.  It's simple common sense. 

But there are limitations to what a regular home inspector will examine.  For example, the inspector's standard disclaimer will remind you that it is a visual inspection only, and limited to things the inspector can see with the naked eye.  No cutting into drywall, no tearing apart electrical systems.

Most property inspectors perform a basic, visual inspection.  And that service is well worth the $300 to $400 most inspectors charge.  If an inspector cites something unusual, or out of his area of expertise, then it is common for the inspector to suggest additional follow-up inspections.

So how far do you go with this?  The answer is, it's completely up to you.

There are nearly 20 different "secondary" inspections that a buyer can perform on a home. 

These include:

* Electrical systems
* Heating and air conditioning
* Lead-based paint
* Mold testing
* Foundation assessment
* Soil stability
* Roof inspection
* Survey
* Sewer scope
* Septic system
* Radon gas
* Asbestos
* Chimney
* Wood-destroying pests

Most buyers will not do all of these tests, or anywhere close to all of these tests.  Based on what the general home inspector finds, it's not unusual to ask an HVAC person to take a look at the furnace, or have the sewer line scoped for breaks.  But every home is different, and every situation is unique.  I'll never advise a client to skip over an inspeciton if he or she thinks it's important.

The point of this is simply to educate and inform, and let you know that as a buyer you should satisfy yourself as to the condition of the home you are purchasing before you get to the closing table.  And if you have concerns about any of these areas, you should discuss them with your agent or your home inspector as early on in the process as possible.