Enlightening Findings About Home

Let’s face it: For most people, the subject of home inspections is anything but a fun subject. However, it is an important subject. Increasingly, new home-buyers are required to make sure that their homes are up to a certain standard. Furthermore, it’s in your own health interests to make sure that the new house comes up to those standards. So while it might not be terribly exciting, you would be well-advised to learn about this subject.

Back in 2001, a study was conducted by the Market Enhancement Group (or MEG) about home inspections. While that was seven years ago, it’s the most exhaustive examination of the subject that has been conducted, before or since. The results of the study were enlightening.

First let’s discuss the methodology of the study. It was done through MEG’s omnibus poll. This poll consisted of 1,000 phone interviews which were divided equally among four regions of the United States, with 250 persons in each of these regions: the Northeast, the Midwest, the South, and the West. Those who responded to the survey were all U.S. consumers who had bought a house within the 18 months prior to the survey. There was a margin of error in the study of plus or minus 3.4 percent.

Now let’s look at who the study found obtained an inspection. According to the study, 77 percent of recent house buyers had gotten a house inspection before they bought their homes. Seventy-nine percent had attended this inspection and participated in it. An astounding 97 percent said they felt the inspection was worth what they paid for it.

Only a tiny fraction — 23 percent — of home-buyers said they’d bought a new house without getting an inspection. Of those who did buy one, most selected their inspectors after receiving a recommendation for him or her from their real estate agent (69 percent).

Of those who hired an inspector, 43 percent did so only after their real estate agent suggested they do so; however, the majority, 57 percent, did so of their own volition.

Now let’s consider the differences that the survey found according to geographical location. Those buying a new home in the Western region had the highest incidence of hiring a home inspector, at 81 percent. The South follows closely at 80 percent, with the Midwest next at 77 percent and he Northeast Region at 70 percent.

Just at those in the West had the highest incidence of hiring inspector, they also had te highest rate of selecting a home inspector after a real estate agent recommended the person.

However, home-buyers in the South

o For home buyers getting a home inspection, the percentage of inspections conducted at their personal request was highest in the South Region (65%) and the West Region (60%), followed by the Midwest Region (53%) and the Northeast Region (47%).

o For home buyers getting a home inspection, the percentage of inspections conducted at the real estate agent’s request was highest in the Northwest Region (53%).
What this study shows us is that there are a whole lot of people who choose not to have their houses inspected–and of those who do hire an inspector, many do so only after a real estate agent suggests one. This means that many home-buyers are not yet independently convinced of the need for such an inspection. But here are some reasons–and areas of your house–that call for an inspection.

1) A home needs the exterior inspected. If a roof is just now starting to age, then the subtle defects and damages are probably not going to be readily apparent to you, a novice on the subject. They can be found by a qualified inspector, though. Keep in mind that you’ll spend several thousand dollars resurfacing a roof if you wait too long. The same holds true for the siding. Finding problems while they’re still minor can save you big bucks.

2) A home just as urgently needs the interior inspected. For instance, you don’t want to wait until after you’ve moved in all your furniture to discover that your basement floods easily. It’s important to have an inspector check the basement for any clues of possible water intrusion, like a damp odor, mildew, water stains, etc.

Also on the interior, the house should be checked for proper ventilation and insulation. What many people don’t understand is that inferior ventilation, particularly in the attic, can actually accelerate the deterioration of your roof deck. This can cost a lot of money to fix, if you wait too long.

The interior inspection would also include a check of the paint surface, to make sure it does not contain lead paint.

3) And finally, a house needs to have its electrical work and plumbing inspected. You need a qualified inspector to check for problems such as over fused circuits, burned wiring, poor wiring connections, amateur-installed wiring, openings in the wall where a young one could put his or her fingers, and dead-ended / exposed wiring.

As for plumbing, you need an inspector who can look for old lead pipes or galvanized steel ones. Replacing bad ones could be costly. Naturally, he’ll also look for leaks and, using a moisture meter, he’ll evaluate plaster or wall board suspected of having damage caused by leaks. Many plumbing issues are not clearly visible to the average house-owner, which is why it’s so essential to have a professional–one who knows where to look and what to look for — do it for you.

There are many other responsibilities for a professional inspector. However, these are some of the crucial issues, and they are ones that any knowledgeable expert will be able to investigate. Most importantly, they are issues that, if left to an amateur, could result in expensive repairs in the not-too-distant future. Sure, hiring an inspector will cost money–but it’s quite likely that it will save you more than it costs.