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What’s Hiding In The Attic?

Posted by Sherry Rioux on September 20, 2007

I’ve been around in the real estate business for so long now that I can remember when home inspection companies didn’t even exist (nor did we use fax machines once upon a time).  Today, home inspections have become the norm for almost all home buyers and, in the words of Martha, that’s a good thing!  In the last decade or so, I’ve had literally hundreds of clients have home inspections and in every case but one, the client felt they got good value for their money.  If nothing else, they have peace of mind and a detailed homeowners “to do” list once they move in.  In extreme cases, scary problems can be uncovered such as the time the inspector found that every support post in a basement had been removed which would like lead to the house collapsing before long!  I’ve had inspectors locate hidden mold and moisture problems, foundation cracks, improper wiring, asbestos and raccoons in the attic.  More often, they find routine maintenance issues such as grading needing to be done, window caulking required, furnace tune-ups overdue and over-fusing on electrical panels.

But buyer beware.  The practice of inspecting homes is an unregulated profession and anybody can hang out a shingle.  We’ve sure seen our share of bad inspectors or ones who moonlight as contractors on the side; a definite conflict of interest.  Look for companies that belong to an association that maintains standards of practice.  Make sure the company carries Errors and Omissions Insurance and that the inspectors are bonded.  Find out what training and experience they have and from whom.  Personally, I’ve always been impressed with companies like this one whose inspectors undergo rigorous training programs and mentoring before they conduct any inspections.  With a through and competent inspection, buyers can make informed decisions about one of their largest lifetime investments and, yes, that’s a good thing.

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