Home inspectors see the same things that most well versed home buyers can see. Wood rot is often readily visible. We see the same water stains in ceilings. The same cracked garage slab floors. The same leaking toilets that won’t properly shut off.
But more importantly, we see the same crazy stuff that most home buyers WON’T see. Aluminum wiring. Un-insulated attics. Unsafe electrical panels. Water stains in finished-basement ceilings as a result of improper flashing on roofs. Improper clearance between furnace combustion vents and flammable materials. Unprofessional repairs to structural framing.
I recently inspected an average Kansas City home for a retired couple that has owned many homes in their lifetime. Most home inspections for this 1500 square foot house take between 2 and 3 hours. This one lasted 5 hours. They asked lots of questions. And their questions led to more questions. By the time I was finished, the gentleman said to me, “I think I’ve learned more about homes than I’ve learned in the rest of my life until now”.
After this inspection, the home buyers and I were talking about homes, in general, and they asked me – “Do you see lots of crazy things?” Again, the answer was “Yes – I see home owners with Zinsco Electrical panels in their house all the time.” They nodded, and knew exactly what I meant, because they had just attended the inspection and asked lots of questions. And they took full advantage of the time and experience they were buying from a certified home inspector.
Many buyers don’t attend a home inspection, and it’s too bad. After all, what are you buying from the home inspector? A report? Many home inspectors take pride in delivering a thorough, informative report. But you’re really buying their time and expertise. The question you should ask yourself – did I learn anything from the experience, and did I take full advantage of having a professional on-site?
Can you now identify the crazy stuff that a home inspector will see in the home when you get ready to sell it?