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Here are 4 things home inspectors don't always check

By Mike Wheatley | July 6, 2017

Home inspectors are known for carefully scrutinizing properties from top to bottom, with checklists encompassing over a thousand features that must be evaluated. But there are some items that are only given a cursory inspection and so prospective buyers may want to investigate further, reported.

Fireplaces & chimneys

While inspectors may check the dampers to make sure they're working properly and shine a flashlight up the chimney to ensure it's not blocked, they don't do much else. As such, buyers will need to hire a specialist fireplace inspector if they're intending on actually using the fireplace. A specialist will check for things such as creosote build up, which could possibly cause a house fire. Such inspections cost from $80 to $200.


If buyers have concerns about a home's foundations it might be necessary to bring in a structural engineer for further checks. A professional structural engineer can check for issues like shifting, tilting and sinkholes that could potentially damage a home. They will also test the soil to see if any problems could surface there. Basic tests will cost from $300 to $1,000 on average, while more thorough tests can reach as high as $5,000. As an alternative, buyers with a tight budget can make use of the free site PlotScan, which provides information on the history of sinkholes and other disasters in the region of the home.

Septic systems & wells

Septic tanks and similar systems aren't generally included in home inspections, though some inspectors will do so for an additional fee and they will determine whether or not a septic tank pumping and other septic tank services are needed. It's also possible to hire a professional well inspector who can collect water samples and test these for harmful bacteria and chemicals such as coliform and arsenic. In addition, a well inspector will also ensure that all of the seals, screens and vents are properly maintained, and that the well and its pump produce enough water. These inspections generally cost around $250.


Home inspectors will generally check the roof if they deem it is safe to do so, but if that's not possible they'll usually just skip it. As such, buyers may want to hire roofing services to have a roofer take a closer look.

In the end home inspections are necessary to ease the minds of a buyer or seller in todays market . Make sure you have your checklist.

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at [email protected].
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