How to check on a house

I'm a prospective home buyer. Is there a way (like a government resource) where I can check to see what repairs I might need to do to a house before I purchase it. For example, has the foundation been cited as needing repair, the roof, is there a spider infestation, etc.
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On Sun 11 May 2008 10:47:57p, told us...

You need a home inspection by a licensed home inspector. If you have a good one, you'll learn all you need to know.
--
Wayne Boatwright
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wrote:

  I forget how you detail the inspection but it can be condition of sale and in buyer's market, the home seller could pay for it. Some houses are advertised with an independent home inspector's report included. Also, depending on local laws, there may be mandatory termite and radon inspections that the home seller must do.
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In this case, the seller should get a copy of the FULL report as well...since the HI technically works for them.

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On May 12, 12:47 am, snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com wrote:

Just get it inspected by a pro and if you know contractors get one to look at it, you need to learn about the house before you buy it.
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home inspector can drive down price when they find problems.....
hey this hot water tank has seepage, see the green scum? you will need a new tank 800 bucks around here.
house price drops with each deficency
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...........................................................................
On other hand any inspector should be independent and 'at arms length' to both buyer and seller.
Using someone who is 'in the pocket of' (or elated or employed by) either party, the situation could get expensive later on if faults ARE discovered and/or (worse) there is litigation!
Probaly worst is "My cousin, who is an inspector" etc. Or someone who does much 'other' work for the seller.
0.02 from here!
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As others have said, get the home inspected. Another good idea: Bring 2-3 intelligent, observant friends for a couple of walk-throughs. Sometimes they spot things the inspectors miss, or ask questions you didn't. "How come the ceiling in this room is textured, but not in other rooms?" Could point to past water damage. Inspectors don't always notice everything. Mine completely missed the uninsulated crawl space under part of the kitchen.
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No kidding. My impression is that anyone can get a license and call himself a house inspector.
But think about it, in order to find all the faults, the inspector needs to know about structural engineering, electrical, plumbing, carpentry, pests, geology, plants and trees, city and building codes, ... How could one person be an expert in all these fields?
The suggestions about bringing observant friends is a good one, especially friends who are DIY type home owners.
Also, call some insurance companies to get insurance quote. If the house has had mold problems and words get to the insurance companies, some (all?) insurance company would refuse to insure the house.
Also, the older the house is, the more rigorous you need to inspect it not just due to deteriorations, but also building code update. If the house belongs to a home owners association, reading the meeting minutes from the past may also reveal some problems.
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peter wrote:

Hi, Decent inspectors carry isurance.
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In some states that's absolutely true. In some states you have to be licensed by the state. http://www.home-inspect.com/legislation.asp
No matter what the requirements are, probably best to go with one certified by ASHI or NACHI. I know ASHI is a good one.

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even brand new homes can have serious deficencies, and with the housing builing industry so bad, contractors may disown a problem or may have gone bankrupt.
a new never lived in home is no guarantee of good quality
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Hmmm. Where I am, builders pulled fund to gurantee the sturucture of new house for 5 years. 1st after service is all free. There were instances house was bought back because of too much troubles. No wonder I always had my house custom built on my spec.
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with the economy so bad builders nationwide going bankrupt.
beware a builder on his way out may have cut corners and once they file bankruptcy they are off the hook......
get home inspection even on new homes today. all sorts of wierd stuff turns up, that might be hazard, and you may not find for years.
like reversed hot and neutral on outlets, or open grounds.
outlet still works fine
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You should have it inspected all through the building process by a private inspector. Don't depend on the local "code" inspectors. They don't find everything, they are too busy, can't possibly know everything about all 12 or so trades and are not civilly liable. Besides, they are inspection for "Code" which is MINIMUM STANDARDS. Is that what you want for your huge investment?
Inspecting at the end is too late to find what may be serious flaws in the construction. It's all covered up now and too expensive to do anything about. Doing "progress" inspections will cost you money but a whole lot less than dealing with or tearing out something to fix what should have been done before it was covered. Private Property Inspector and retired General Contractor
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

--
ÐÏà‘±Γ‘

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There is a company called erudite publishing that sells a step by step do it yourself home inspection. I think it goes for around $15. sure beats the heck out of paying $350 each time you like a house. Lou
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And anybody that thinks a $15 DIY book beats a $350 inspection by a professional, gets what they pay for. Plus, when you're a buyer, having a professional home inspector say there is a problem with something is going to be a whole lot more likely to result in the seller offering a discount to cover it as compared to the buyer just saying it.
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I think the key here was 'each time you like a house'. Not buy, but want to know something about what to look for before you pay larger amounts for an actual inspection by a professional.
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wrote

I think that is the key also. Knowing some things to look for while checking out houses may be worth the price of the book if you don't know much about home construction and repair. When you do see a house you really like and are getting ready to put down a deposit is the time to get the $ 300 inspector out. I would have hated to pay that price for each house I looked at before deciding on the final one I bought. I know a bit about houses and construction, but not enough to "bet the house on".
While my inspector seemed to do a fine job ( I followed him around), I did not need him to tell me there were 2 burnt out light bulbs or one of the fausets had a small drip, but did need him to tell me if the foundation was bad or if there was a well or septic system problem.
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