Home Inspection
Information From
Alban Home
Inspection Service
Vol. 7, No. 6
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From the desk of . . .
     Arthur S. Lazerow

New Release Form- FABULOUS!!

The property condition clause in sales agreements used in local jurisdictions has evolved into requiring the repair of mechanical deficiencies. All other home inspection problems must be negotiated between the parties. This “negotiated” category includes such tidbits as roof leaks, structural cracks, window problems, cosmetic mars, and the like. For the last eight years, I have observed the lack of understanding of this concept among some Realtors and truly awful drafting of the home inspection contingency release. Consequently, over the past three years, I have included in my continuing education classes a detailed discussion of the property condition clause and how to prepare a proper release. Several thousand Realtors have heard me preach: GIVE NOTICE of mechanical deficiencies (since Mr. And Mrs. Seller have already agreed to repair them) and negotiate only the non-mechanical problems. Hallelujah. My prayers have been answered — at least by GCAAR. Dated November 2000, GCAAR Form #950 is a new four-part pre-printed two-page addendum, entitled “Home Inspection Notice”. Its three sections are (1) property condition paragraph notice, (2) list of negotiable items, and (3) credit at settlement in lieu of repairs. Sound familiar? Realtors should use this form or a similar pre-printed form. We have printed the GCAAR form. Call our office and Joann will mail it to you.

Common Findings
From a Home Inspection

Many prospective homeowners are wisely deciding to hire a professional home inspector before buying a home. Some,
however, don’t know what problems to expect a home inspector to find. A major problem, such as one with the foundation, is only one of the defects home inspectors look for. There are many more common faults found by home inspectors.

Many homes will have some sort of problem with the roof. These problems could be due to age, wear, or improper installation. Homes with roof defects usually do not need a brand new roof. Roof problems can usually be repaired before the home is purchased.

1. Ceilings. Stains on the ceiling are a telltale sign of past or current roof leaks. Some ceiling stains can be leftover signs of previous roof problems that have since been repaired. Others may be due to faulty plumbing.

2. Basements. Leaky basements are another problem home inspectors often find. These leaks can be caused by faulty drainage systems. Unfortunately, faulty drainage can do a lot of damage to a home and can sometimes be hard to fix. Remedies range from a simple regrading of the ground, or adding roof gutters, to major, expensive improvements such as installing French drains.

3. Electrical. Home inspectors find many problems besides foundation-related defects when inspecting a homebuyer’s prospective purchase. Older homes frequently have electrical problems, such as ungrounded outlets, lack of shock protection devices, and faulty wiring in electrical panels. These common problems are often due to wiring that has been added or changed by people who were not qualified electricians, however, they are sometimes the result of errors at the time of construction.

4. Rot. Wet wood can indicate a real problem to a home inspector. If wood remains wet for long periods of time, in roof eaves, exterior trim, decks, around tubs and showers, or below loose toilets, fungus is likely to attack, causing dry rot. This can cause
extensive damage to a home.

5. Garages. When homeowners tell the home inspector, “We added the garage without a permit, but it was all done to code,” this is usually an undeniable admission that building violations have occurred. It is impossible for the average person who has no construction knowledge to know the entire building code. Firewalls, which are specially built and fire-resistant, have been required since 1927 for walls and doors that separate a garage from a home.

Continued on next page.