Interview with a Professional Home Inspector

Interview with a Professional Home Inspector

Having an inspection done is the only way for Sellers and Buyers to know the state of a house, at a given point in time, and have a general understanding of what to look out for in the way of potential upcoming repairs.

Your home inspector wants the process to yield a comprehensive to-do list and not to unduly stress out either the Seller or Buyer.

Here at Solutions, as we mentioned in last week’s blog, we recommend forming a team with your home inspector.

Knowledge is key and most inspectors are happy to talk as they work and let you know what things to look out for, from what small items to fix, and how, to finding out some basic information about the house like the approximate state of the roof, HVAC system, appliance & water heater info, etc.

It’s a great idea to bring a notepad and pen so you can take notes as you walk around as this is pretty much one of the first times a Buyer is allowed to be in a home and really take a look and kick the tires, so to speak.


Local expertise

We recently spoke with Buddy Carlisle, president of Carlisle Home Inspection Services, Inc., and he had a few great tips to keep in mind as you get ready for a home inspection:

What is a home inspection?

An inspection is a snapshot in time as a lot can happen to a house between the inspection and closing.

We talked about Orangeburg or Terra-Cotta waste lines in our last blog – can you tell us a little bit more about them?

An inspector cannot tell if a home has Orangeburg or Terra Cotta waste lines as they are underground. With regards to Terra Cotta, we recommend having the waste lines in older homes scoped.

How should a Seller prepare for an inspection?

The Seller needs to make sure that the electric panel and main water line valves are accessible.

A vacant owner needs to make sure that the water and electric are on and have not been turned off by a utility company.

The inspector cannot require a Seller to leave. This would be up to the listing agent.

What can you check on a furnace?

An inspector cannot check a heat exchanger on a furnace as that would required dismantling the unit. Those furnaces [NOX rod consolidated furnaces – mentioned in last week’s blog] have also been around a long time and some newer furnaces still have heat exchangers. Gas furnaces are checked with CO2 meters and covers are removed so we can see a small portion of the exchanger.

What should we know about different types of roof shingles?

Saying that asphalt shingles last 15 to 40 years is a little wide spread. The age would depend on the style of shingles. As long as you don’t walk on slate shingles it’s the best shingle you can have. We have seen them go well over 100 years. Also, improper installation doesn’t cause premature aging, it causes leaks.

How does a Buyer find out about roof shingle condition?

The inspector can tell you the condition of the shingles the day of the inspection, but there might be a hail storm the next day.

Very few inspectors go up on roof systems any more, thanks to 20 and 30 zoom camera lens. We are looking into using drones for this part of the inspection.

What can you tell us about ABS waste line piping?

We don’t find a lot of problems with ABS waste line piping and it is still used in a number of manufactured and modular homes. We are also making sure the-the ABS is not mixed with PVC.

What about Stucco?

We don’t find a lot of trouble with Stucco, the problem is with Synthetic Stucco (EIFS). There’s a big difference.

Do you test for mold?

If we see the presence of mold, we will point it out. In most cases it can be mitigated. The inspector does not test for it nor do they design the repair. This would be up to a qualified mold inspector or mitigator.

Are there any other things to remember?

Bring a check or credit card to the inspection, or you can pay ahead of time.

If you have any other questions for Buddy Carlisle, he can be reached at his office at: 434-293-3606.

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Charles McDonald
Charles McDonald
Charlottesville Solutions
2013 Woodbrook Court, Charlottesville VA 22901
REALTOR® - Licensed to sell Real Estate in Virginia
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