Ask a home inspector

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Michael Berry – Michael L. Berry Home Inspections LLC

Michael Berry Michael L. Berry Home Inspections LLC

Michael Berry
Michael L. Berry Home Inspections LLC (via Michael Berry)

Why should a home inspection be done?

I think all homes, whether it’s new or used, should have an inspection. People get a misconcept[ion]about new homes—it’s new and everything’s going to work and everything’s right, which is not the case a lot of the time. The quality of the product sometimes suffers because the contractors skirt certain things. If you’re buying a used house, traditionally the inspection is done in the seven- to 10-day grace period. It’s a walkaway with no cost for no reason [period if]you decide you don’t want to buy [the home]… Inspections for new homes [should be]done [in]generally three phases: the foundation, pre-sheetrock and then the whole home inspection. [That way,] I get to see what is under the concrete, how the frame and electrical, plumbing and vent[ilation]looks. Once the walls are up, I’m not a superhero; I don’t have X-ray vision.

Why is a home inspection important?

The biggest reason home inspections are important is because in this world today, unfortunately, not everybody is honest. The state of Texas has a disclosure clause. You, the seller, are required to disclose anything that you know is wrong with the house. Not everybody does what they’re supposed to do. The big tickets [to inspect]are [the]foundation, the electrical system, the plumbing system and the roof. On new homes, [there is sometimes]a lack of quality control and poor craftsmanship.

What should a buyer look out for when considering a home?

When you’re looking at a home, walk outside, look at the condition of the outside of the house. If it’s brick, look at the brick. See if you see any cracks in the mortar. Houses are like people. They’ll tell you what’s going on if you take the time to look and listen. Houses will tell on themselves.

What are some common problems found in a home during an inspection?

[In the Tomball/Magnolia area] right now as a home inspector, I’m almost always recommending that [homebuyers]have [a roof inspection]. We’ve had three major hailstorms come in this area in the last 18 months, so consequently, unless it’s just brand spanking new, I’m recommending that [homebuyers]get a certified roofer to come out and look at it. Hail damage is a hard thing to see. [Hailstorms] bruise the shingles; they’ll put an indentation, and it’s actually like a bruise up under the skin. It may take a while for [hail bruises]to show up sometimes.

Inspections for new homes should be done in three phases: the foundation, pre-sheetrock and whole home inspections.

Inspections for new homes should be done in three phases: the foundation, pre-sheetrock and whole home inspections. (via Source: Michael Berry/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Anna Dembowski
Anna joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. In July 2017, she transitioned to editor. Anna covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in the Tomball and Magnolia communities. Prior to CI, Anna served as editor-in-chief of Cedars, interned with the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C., and spent time writing for the Springfield News-Sun and Xenia Daily Gazette.
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