"We find problems the average homeowner wouldn't be aware of," says William Ryle, a licensed inspector with Argyll & Sutherland, Ltd., and a member and past president of the Nevada Association of Certified Real Estate Inspectors.
Such problems include things that were not done correctly when the house was built, as well as changes that have occurred as the home has aged.
Another category of problems falls under "work done by do-it-yourselfers," Ryle
says.When homeowners take on repair work or modifications without the help of a professional, they may ultimately be detracting from the salability of their residence.This problem can be compounded if successive do-it-yourselfers have lived in the home over the years.
performs an inspection, he
thoroughly explores the home from top to bottom, inside and out, looking for a broad range of problems.
Before entering the home, he
examines the grading and drainage of the property surrounding it, as well as the condition of exterior building materials, the roof, the sidewalks and driveway, any existing air conditioning units and the electrical panel.
Inside the home, Ryle looks for signs of structural damage and settling, tests the function of doors, windows and all main appliances, and carefully examines electrical outlets and plumbing.The attic is checked for general condition, materials, insulation, ventilation and leaks; if the house has a crawl space, he
will check that as well, again looking for ventilation, insulation and signs of moisture.
Heating and cooling systems also will be tested, but Ryle notes that real estate inspectors are not HVAC experts.Obvious problems with these systems generally result in the recommendation that the homeowner consult an HVAC professional.
will recommend a pest inspection if he
finds moisture or possible signs of mold.
inspects a home, he
writes a narrative explaining the most pressing or expensive things to fix.
"You know right up front what's a safety hazard," he
says - the most important reason for having a home inspected.Ryle
will also indicate any factors that currently may not be serious, but that could contribute to or cause expensive problems later on.
Homebuyers have traditionally made the bulk of inspection requests, but Ryle
gets an increasing number of calls from owners of new homes that are coming up on their one-year anniversary.
"In new homes," Ryle
said, "it's a good idea to get the inspection to give yourself leverage should the builder/developer resist fixing problems."
Not knowing this information can jeopardize a sale, says Ryle
"In a best-case scenario, the terms of the home purchase might be renegotiated.In a worst-case scenario, the inspection can be a deal-breaker."
Though a home inspection may have a bearing on a home's list price, Ryle
emphasizes that the inspection report is not a direct indication of a home's value.
"Inspectors are not appraisers," he
Having an inspection done "is a matter of personal preference," Ryle