The home inspector is one of the most important people in the home buying process. Between their attention to detail, their knowledge, and their insistence on doing the job right, having a good home inspector can be a key component to closing a deal.
As part of our goal of bringing you information from industry experts, we are proud to launch a series of videos in which our own Tom Iovenitti goes along on a home inspection with Karl Gresowski, owner of and inspector for Eagle Home Inspections. By learning about what home inspectors are actually looking for, we hope you can be better prepared the next time you need to work with one, and that you know what to ask for the next time you hire one. (Note: Eagle Home Inspections operates in Southern California, so the things the inspectors in your area look for may be slightly different.)
To start off this series, we begin where nearly all inspections begin – in the front of the house, looking at the outside…
TOM IOVENITTI: Hello, everyone, I’m Tom Iovenitti, again bringing you these ReboReports from Benutech, Incorporated. Today, we’re on-site with Karl Gresowski from Eagle Home Inspections. We’re here to go through a home and Karl’s going to tell us some of the things we need to look for and some of the areas that you should be concerned about as a real estate agent. Karl, thanks for coming today.
KARL GRESOWSKI: No problem, thanks for having me.
IOVENITTI: Thanks so much, it’s nice to have you here.
IOVENITTI: So, first of all, we’re going to ask Karl: when he walks up to a home, what’s some of the first things that you recognize when you finally walk up to a home? What are some of the things that you focus on?
GRESOWSKI: We’re going to focus on the slope of the roof, what type of material they put on the roof, as far as the tiles make sure they’re properly overlapped, that there’s no broken tiles. We’re going to look at the outside structure, make sure there’s no major cracks. Make sure the windows themselves, the outside drains are draining properly.
IOVENITTI: Do you ever go on top of the roof to take a look at the tiles?
GRESOWSKI: We try not to walk on the tiles unless we see something up there we cannot get a good picture of and we want to make sure it’s in the report for our buyers.
IOVENITTI: I see. At that point, what would you do? You’d recommend a roofer to come out?
GRESOWSKI: We’d recommend a roofer to come out and evaluate the problem and to fix it.
IOVENITTI: So, in looking at the exterior of a home, do you also notice things like paint condition and stucco condition?
GRESOWSKI: We look at stucco condition. As far as painting, we know that’s cosmetic. So we’re not really concerned with it unless the house is prior to 1978, and if it’s cracking and peeling, because it could have lead in it.
IOVENITTI: I see.
GRESOWSKI: Then we’d want to get a proper professional out here to address it and check it.
IOVENITTI: So the age of the home is important to you when assessing what’s going on, in order to see if there is kind of a lead situation?
GRESOWSKI: Yes, because due to 1978, we did have homes that were painted with lead-based paint.
IOVENITTI: I see.
GRESOWSKI: So we do want to make sure that we know when the house was built so we can look at it that way too.
IOVENITTI: So how about things that we haven’t seen in normal inspections, like sprinkler systems and things of that nature? Do you also check that?
GRESOWSKI: I personally do check them. Some inspectors do have areas where they will not do that. As far as sprinklers, I want to check to make sure that all the heads are spraying. We want to make sure they’re not hitting the structure, because if they are hitting the structure, we end up with a mildew or possible mildew solution going on in the house.
IOVENITTI: I see.
GRESOWSKI: So we want to make sure we don’t have any spray hitting the structure.
IOVENITTI: I see. How about garden lighting and things like that?
GRESOWSKI: Low voltage lighting, no, that’s usually outside the scope of an inspection, yes.
IOVENITTI: Ok. Well, anyway, thank you. We’re going to go inside now, or we’re going to take a look at what’s going on in the exterior of the home, maybe to the rear of the home, and take a look and see if there’s any foundation issues. Anyways, stay tuned.