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Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - The Home Condition Checklist

Updated on May 26, 2009

Almost any property can be cosmetically made to look stunning and perfect while hiding a plethora of disasters beneath the sheen. With all the closing costs, third party fees and the rest of the cash up front that has to accompany any house deal, many buyers really balk at cranking out up to a thousand dollars for a professional home inspection. They would much rather rely on their own DIY knowledge developed by watching home improvement shows on TV.

That is usually a fallacious strategy. When you have hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line which represent what is likely to be the single most expensive purchase of your entire life, it is no time to scrimp on something as indispensable as a home inspection.

However, there are some basic visual tests that you can do prior to hiring a home inspector which might convince you to back out of the deal early, or never even get involved with it at all.

- Craftsmanship: Can you stick your your finger outside when the window or door is closed, are the moldings, flooring, paint, fixtures, handles, etc. all properly installed?

- Electrical: Are there any scorch marks on sockets, is there sufficient amperage to the breakers, and is it modern and properly installed?

- Fireplaces: Are they caked in flammable creosote, and have screens or glass doors (latter is preferable)?

- Heating: How old and in what condition is the heating and air conditioning system?

- Insects: Are there signs of termites, cockroaches, wasps or ants inside the house?

- Insulation: Is there sufficient insulation for the climate, and is there any sign of asbestos?

- Kitchen & Bath: Do the fixtures work properly, drip, have insufficient water pressure, or are there cracks or signs of patching?

- Plumbing: Is it all copper and show no sign of drips, mold or other problems, and do they run free or seem plugged up?

- Roof: Is it dried out, shingles lifted or missing, signs of patch jobs?

- Structure: Does everything seem flat and plumb. Are the corners at precise right angles? Is the floor flat?

- Water: Evidence of flooding or damage? Is the house in a poorly drained hollow or in a flood plain? Stains on the ceilings, walls or floors?

Just taking a short time to review these aspects can save you a lot of time, money and hassle in backing out of a deal when the home inspector discovers all these obvious faults that you should have picked out in the beginning.

You must also keep in mind that there is a vast amount of damage or poor workmanship that is invisible to any precursory examination. There are countless faults within the foundations, inside the walls, underneath concrete floors, within the septic system's weeping tiles, trapped inside cathedral ceilings, and in all sorts of different hiding places in any residential real estate property that not only are difficult for you to notice when you're doing a walk through but can also be next to impossible for the most professional home inspector to determine. Purchasing a property is a very risky process and you should always be prepared to be unpleasantly surprised.

Read The Entire Survival Guide

Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - The Subprime Meltdown
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - The Advantage Of Renting Over Buying
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Why Rent? Why Not?
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Five Common Mistakes House Buyers Make
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Get Your Home Sold Quickly & At Your Asking Price
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Improve Your Home's Value And Sell It For More!
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Learn The Value Of Curb Appeal
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Home Staging: Valid Selling Technique Or Fraud?
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Before You Go House Shopping
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - The Home Condition Checklist
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Getting A Mortgage From Different Types Of Lenders
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - What To Do After You're Turned Down
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - New Initiatives To Help Get You Approved
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Isn't HUD An Old Paul Newman Movie?
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Jumbo Isn't As Huge As He Once Was
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - FHA Q&A
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - The FHA's Credit Requirements Vs. The Bank's
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Your Credit Score And Your Mortgage
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Credit Score Confusion
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Keeping That Credit Score Nice & High
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Minimize The Interest Payable
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - What Is PMI & Why Do I Care?
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - The LIBOR-COFI-COSI Alphabet Soup
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - REO: Get Rich Quick Or Just Waste Time?
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Obtaining Flipping Money
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Consider The Additional Costs
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - What Is Escrow?
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Tips To Avoid Foreclosure
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - The Changing Value Of Your Mortgage Dollar
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - How To Ride The Interest Rate Spikes
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Can't Get A Mortgage? What A PITI!
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Calculating Your Closing Costs
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Mortgage Broker or Mortgage Banker?
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - The Magic Of A Down Payment
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - A Refinance Checklist
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Refinancing With Bad Credit
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - The Self-Employed Mortgage Maze
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - VA Loans
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Offset & Reverse Mortgages
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - The Reasons To Not Buy An Offshore Retirement House
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - How To Pay Less Than $500 A Month
Home Buyer's Recession Survival Guide - Five Easy And Cheap Tips To Save Big $ On Energy

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