Inspections are designed to help you understand the overall condition of a property, potentially saving you considerable time with the purchase process and hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs. Some of the inspections which may be required or recommended by your lender are:
Standard Home Inspection - The areas which may be covered include roofs, exterior surfaces, garage/carport, structure, attic, basement, crawl space, electrical, heating and air conditioning systems, plumbing, fireplace/wood burning devices, and appliance condition. Remember that your inspection rights are clearly stated in the Buy-Sell and vary from state to state. There is no such thing as a 'perfect" home. Depending upon the age, the area, the builder, and numerous other trends, one inspection may vary from another. Suggestions made by the home inspector are to provide buyers with a better insight into the property they are purchasing. A home inspection does not require the seller to make any changes to the existing home but could in some instances provide.
Radon Inspection - Radon exists all around us. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that radon is a health hazard and estimates that between 15,000 - 22,000 deaths per year result from radon exposure, therefore they recommend that all homes be tested for radon. EPA recommends that homes containing 4.0 or more Pico Curies per liter be remedied.
Many people disagree with these findings, however, and feel that radon has always been a part of our environment and actually has beneficial aspects to it. For instance, there are mines in Butte where you reserve a spot and pay a significant amount of money to sit in extremely high levels of radon which they believe cures many, may health conditions.
Regardless of your belief, you have the right to have an inexpensive radon test prior to purchasing your home. If the levels are higher than the EPA recommends and you desire to have these levels mitigated, there are contractors who will recommend various methods of ventilation so that the radon does not accumulate and build up.
Asbestos Inspection - Lab analysis will determine if asbestos fibers are present and evaluate their condition. If friable or non-friable conditions exist, buyers should seek professional assistance.
Composition Board Siding - The condition of the siding and any areas of high moisture are evaluated during this inspection. Typically, composition board siding is a paper-based product that is manufactured to replicate traditional wood siding at a fraction of the cost. Homeowners recently brought class action lawsuits against some of the larger manufacturers of this type of product. The homeowners claimed that the siding was susceptible to water penetration, which caused premature deterioration and rotting. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, some of the most commonly known manufacturers of composition board siding are Louisiana Pacific (LP), Georgia Pacific (GP), Masonite, and Weyerhaeuser.
Lead Based Paint Inspection - Painted surfaces of a home can be evaluated to determine the presence of lead paint. Homes that were constructed before 1978 may contain lead-based paint. Lead exposure can be harmful to young children and babies. Children with lead in their bodies can suffer from damage to the brain and nervous system, behavior and learning problems, slowed growth, hearing problems, and headaches.
Septic Inspections - Often referred to as a "Pumper's Report", many Realtors recommend having a current pumpers report provided to the buyer for their inspection and approval. It involves assessing the cover of the septic tank to examine the fluid level inside the tank. The tank is then pumped to check the condition of the tank and baffles, This alerts the buyer to a wide range of potentially costly septic reapairs or failures. and whether it is a traditionnal septic system or constructed of unusual items that may not effectively process waste..
Pool/Hot Tub Inspection - Determines the overall condition and operability of a pool and/or hot tub's equipment. Additionally, the condition of the pool deck will be inspected for deterioration and/or other noticeable defects.
Private Well Flow and Potability Inspection - Designed to determine whether or not a private well adequately supplies water to the house. Samples are sent to a lab for potability (drinkability) analysis.
Stucco Siding Inspection - There are two types of stucco siding to be aware of: cement-based "traditional" stucco and synthetic stucco. An inspection of the siding's application according to manufacturer's installation specifications is recommended. Synthetic stucco siding is commonly referred to as Exterior Insulated Finish System (EIFS).
Obtaining the proper inspections for a home prior to purchase is one of the best ways to make a smart purchase decision and protect your investment.