Home inspection findings by Frank Schulte-Ladbeck, Professional Real Estate Inspector TREC# 9073

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Top Ten DIY Home Inspection Tips

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A guest post from Kim Reid detailing how you can perform a home inspection on your own by following her ten home inspection tips.

Although a home inspector is best when you’re serious about buying a home or property, there are certain things that you the buyer or seller can address with a simple scan of the house. Below are just some of the things you can look for with the naked eye when buying a home.

  1. Cracks in the drywall – They themselves can be a minor enough issue to address but signal a more serious problem. Drywall cracks, especially those that run vertically or horizontally, can be the sign of a serious problem with the foundation. Doors that don’t open or close properly can also let you know if the foundation is in need of repair.

  2. Wet spots – These can be common in two story houses. A look up to the ceiling can let you know if anything upstairs is leaking. A trained eye can even see if the ceiling has been repaired, which is a signal for past plumbing problems.

  3. Cabinets under sinks – Checking the cabinets below sinks can also let you know if there is or has been water damage. Look for water stains, damp wood, or other signs that can tell you if a sink is leaking and/or if work needs to be done.

  4. Grout issues – The bonding agent that holds tiles together can also be seen with the naked eye. Any cracks in it can signal any number of issues including foundation issues, unlevel floor, improper floor, and others.

  5. Attic appearance – You may never use the attic, but the house sure does. Having a proper look at the attic can let you see what kind of insulation is being used and how much, if there has been any rodent infestation, and even the state of the roof, which brings us to:

  6. Roofing issues – Although a home inspector can truly tell you what condition the roof is in, you can spot issues yourself. For example, if shingles have been laid over shingles, it is definitely a sign that the roof needs work. Peeling shingles, cracked tiles, and other incongruities in the roof can also be seen with the naked eye.

  7. Grading – Those with a keen eye can spot if the ground slopes water away from the house as it should be, instead of towards it. This is especially important in homes that have basements, as water being directed towards the house can often go into the house, which brings us to:

  8. Basement – If a home has water entry issues, the basement will show them. Moldy, wet spots in the ceiling, walls, and even floor can all be signs of serious water issues. You can even use your hand to check concrete and other areas to feel if they are damp.

  9. Signs of infestation – When looking in the attic or in cabinets, check for wires that have been chewed through or droppings. Holes in exterior walls and chimneys that aren’t properly covered can also be signs that rodents have made this home their own.

  10. Inspect the home inspector – Getting an amateur to inspect a home you are interested can cost far more than it saves. Make sure the home inspector you choose has been in the same location, has no outstanding complaints with the local BBB, and you can even see if they are certified with an association such as the American Society of Home Inspectors.

Bonus! Energy star – If looking for a green home or lower energy costs, simply looking at all the appliances from the fridge to the AC and spotting the Energy Star logo lets you know if the appliance is an efficient one and can save you big bucks in the long haul.


Kim Reid is a licensed real estate agent and owns the site Masters In Real Estate Guide. She likes to write articles about everything related to Real Estate business and educating future agents.

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© Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Home Inspector Houston, Texas
Frank Theodor Schulte-Ladbeck
home inspector, TREC# 9073
Houston , Texas , 77063 United States

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