an offer to purchase contract is signed, a thorough inspection should be
done. Reserve the right to renegotiate or terminate a purchase agreement if
a professional inspection reveals significant defects.
you decide to hire a professional inspector, be there when the inspection is
done. Follow him or her while they are completing the inspection. Ask questions. It is important to know what is being checked, why, and the
condition of each area.
Your Home Inspection Should Cover
Siding: Look for dents or buckling
Foundations:Look for cracks or water seepage
Exterior Brick: Look for cracked bricks or mortar pulling away from bricks
Insulation: Look for condition, adequate rating for climate
Doors and Windows: Look for loose or tight fits, condition of locks, condition
Roof: Look for age, conditions of flashing, pooling water, buckled
shingles, or loose gutters and downspouts
Ceilings, walls, and moldings: Look for loose pieces, drywall that is pulling awaycolor:black">
Porch/Deck: Loose railings or step, rot
Electrical: Look for condition of fuse box/circuit breakers, number of
outlets in each room
Plumbing: Look for poor water pressure, banging pipes, rust spots or
corrosion that indicate leaks, sufficient insulation
Water Heater: Look for age, size adequate for house, speed of recovery,
Furnace/Air Conditioning: Look for age, energy rating; Furnaces are rated by annual
fuel utilization efficiency; the higher the rating, the lower your fuel
costs. However, other factors such as payback period and other operating
costs, such as electricity to operate motors.
Garage: Look for exterior in good repair; condition of
floor—cracks, stains, etc.; condition of door mechanism
Basement: Look for water leakage, musty smell
Attic: Look for adequate ventilation, water leaks from roof
Septic Tanks (if applicable): Adequate absorption field capacity for the
percolation rate in your area and the size of your family.
Driveways/Sidewalks: Look for cracks, heaving pavement, crumbling near edges,
with the inspector, around the outside of the house. As you walk, note specific areas that you need to inspect
more carefully when inside the house.
Look first at the foundation, drainage, siding, check windows,
gutters, and the roof.
the outside inspection is finished, move inside the house.
Start in the crawl space or basement and work up through the
house to the attic. Take
plenty of time to look behind boxes, in dark areas, under cabinets,
some appliances remain with the house?
These may include a built-in oven, dishwasher, garbage disposal,
free-standing range, refrigerator, washer, dryer, and window
air-conditioning unit. All should be tested for efficient and safe
operation. Ask the owner for
any records of service and repair. The
items of personal property are usually included in an “AS IS?condition.
Remember, you are buying the real estate…not the personal property.
THE INDOOR ENVIRONMENT
products or pollutants in the indoor environment can cause health problems.
Asbestos, carbon monoxide, and radon are hazards that may be present.
Lead, which can be present in water or paint, can cause health
problems in children and during pregnancy.
And some people are sensitive to certain products or pollutants like
formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds.
may want to test for some or all of the following contaminants. Contact your
local health department or county cooperative extension center for guidance
Formaldehydeis often found in particle and other
composition board, plywood, paneling, wallpaper, and permanent-pressed
Asbestosfibers may be found in
thermal insulation, pipe and duct insulation, vinyl flooring, textured
paint, exterior siding, and appliances, stoves, and furnaces.
Removal of asbestos can be expensive and should be left to a
may be leaking from defective or improperly vented combustion appliances,
such as furnaces, gas dryers, and gas heaters. These
should be checked by a qualified heating system technician.
Try to avoid the use of wood stoves or kerosene heaters.
It is a requirement in Vermont that a carbon monoxide detector be
installed in the house, by the seller, prior to the closing.
Radon, a colorless and odorless
soil gas, can travel from the soil to the foundation and then to the inside
of a house. It can have
long-term health effects. You
may want to have a radon test completed as part of your inspection process
and should the levels exceed the EPA guidelines; ask the seller to complete
a remediation or establish an escrow account to cover the costs of
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Licensed in the State of Vermont