The Real Estate Browser Volume 8, Issue 7 | Page 6

6 — Say you saw it in The Real Estate Browser of Lynchburg — Volume 8 Number 7 How To Choose A Home Inspection Firm By Drew Howard , President, HomePro, Inc. If you are planning to make improvements to your home to increase market value, it may be a good idea to have it inspected first. A home inspector can help you to prioritize your home improvements and advise you as to the best way to approach repairs. How do you choose among the many inspection firms on the market? Primarily, by asking some tough questions of prospective companies. Will the inspector perform these functions when he visits your home? • Climb up on the roof, crawl through the attic and crawl space, open the electrical panel, check the fur- nace heat exchanger, look for woodborers and rot, check for toxic substances, operate all appliances and equipment and report on basement water leak- age evidence? • Put your property into perspective by comparing it with its peers i.e. houses of similar vintage, material usage, intent? • Summarize the major points of concern and the sig- nificant qualities of the property? • Include in the written report the level of complexity of the property and the probability of undiscovered problems? • List and place these components which have a high probability of failure within the coming five year period? (Good home inspectors will do this for the roofing, heating and air conditioning, kitchen and laundry appliances, and water heater). • Identify potential remodeling problems such as materials containing asbestos; electrical systems which cannot be expanded to accommodate a new kitchen; and old galvanized plumbing supply which will not deliver adequate supply of water or may leak? • Inform you about amateur workmanship or sub- standard maintenance, or advise when to consult an expert to look more closely at suspected problem areas? • Detail the maintenance for all the components of the house? • List problems in major and minor groupings? (Major problems are defined as problems that cost $500 or more to repair or constitute a significant safety hazard). • Report on potentially dangerous or harmful ele- ments such as - Unlined fireplace flues - Aluminum general lighting circuits - Unvented gas space heaters - Cracks or holes in heat exchangers of furnaces - Toxic substances like asbestos - Inadequate combustion air or clearances to heating equipment - Inadequate insulation - Overextended electrical systems - Restrictive ventilation in attics - Wood close to earth, increasing the risk of woodborer and rot damage As always if you have any questions please call Drew Howard 660-3449