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Buying a home? The process can be stressful. A home inspection is supposed to give you peace of mind, but often has the opposite effect. You will be asked to absorb a lot of information in a short time. This often includes a written report, bullet list, photographs, termite reports, and what the inspector himself says during the inspection. All this combined with the seller�s disclosure and what you notice yourself makes the experience even more overwhelming. What should you do?

Most of your inspection will be maintenance recommendations, life expectancies and minor imperfections. That is not to say that some serious problems can easily occur. The issues that really matter will fall into four categories:

  1. Major defects. An example of this would be a structural failure.
  2. Things that lead to major defects. A small roof-flashing leak, for example.
  3. Things that may hinder your ability to finance, legally occupy, or insure the home.
  4. Safety hazards, such as an exposed, live buss bar at the electric panel.
Anything in these categories should be addressed. Often a serious problem can be corrected inexpensively to protect both life and property.

The following information is provided in order to give owners or residents of the property being evaluated a better understanding of the home inspection process:

Diligent Home Inspection is a home inspection service company.  The inspectors are full time real estate inspectors and have performed thousands of home inspections.

Evaluation of the property is performed in accordance with the TREC Standards of Practice, where pertaining.

Our inspection is not a pass or fail inspection. We essentially report, to our clients, conditions or defects that in the inspectors� opinion adversely affect the proper function or safety of the major systems, components and items of the property, that pertain to the inspection.

Generally, evaluation and reporting of merely cosmetic and minor / inconsequential details and deficiencies is beyond the scope of this inspection.

It is best to allow us to proceed with the inspection without interruption so that we are able to conduct a complete and accurate evaluation.

Usually the inspectors will be making evaluations throughout the interior and exterior of the home; walking on the roof, climbing in the attic, opening the windows, operating central heating / air conditioning systems and standard built-in appliances, opening electrical panel boxes, looking under the kitchen / bathroom sinks, running showers / tubs, etc.

If there are any areas or components of the home that you do not wish to be accessed or handled by the inspectors please inform them.

Also, if you are aware of any problems or adverse conditions affecting any of the systems and components of the property please inform the inspectors.

Most sellers are generally honest and are often surprised to learn of defects uncovered during an inspection. Realize that sellers are under no obligation to repair everything mentioned in the report. No home is perfect. Keep things in perspective. Don�t kill your deal over things that don�t matter much. It is inappropriate to demand that a seller address deferred maintenance, conditions already listed on the seller�s disclosure, or nit-picky items. It helps to keep one's emotions in check and in tuned with reality. The following speaks to a very real and common problem.

Water, Water Everywhere

The year 2003, the wettest on record in some places with more than five feet of rainfall, has left the Washington area yearning for sunny skies. It has also left more than a few basements waterlogged. Wet basements are not a new problem, but with rainfall more than two feet above the average, it is a problem with which many homeowners continue to struggle.

Large amounts of water can pose a significant challenge to structures. Increasing the water content of soil surrounding a home can produce significant pressure against the foundation. When the temperature drops and this water freezes, the pressure increases, causing foundation cracks. Underground water can move soil, creating voids that cause the home's foundation to settle.

Beyond the threat to the integrity of a home's foundation, homeowners with ground water close to the home face constant battles with wet basements. Basement leaks can lead to ruined carpeting, stained and damaged wallboard, mold and mildew problems, and premature wear on the home's water heater and furnace due to rust or water damage. And the list goes on...

The good news is that, many times, the solution to a wet foundation protection is often as simple as looking upward. Missing or faulty gutters and downspouts can cause water to spill over just inches from a home's exterior walls. Over time, these areas become saturated. Improper grading can also cause significant accumulation of ground water. Experts suggest a downhill slope of one inch per foot for six feet away from the structure. Likewise, patios, driveways, and walkways that slope toward the home can lead to ground water problems. Improvements in gutters, downspouts and grading issues can significantly reduce the amount of water accumulation near the home.

So next time you see those telltale blisters in the paint, mineral deposits on the masonry, and rust on the baseboard nails in a home's cladding, take heart and look upward.

Diligent Inspections represents the interests of families purchasing homes. You need to have your property inspected before closing to safeguard your interests. The inspection report and review give you a change to have your "eyes open" in relation to the property conditions. Call (281) 480-3388 now to set up an appointment.

You deserve to know about a potential new home in detail before the closing. A Diligent inspection provides Insight to the property. Call 281-480-3388 for an appointment.

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