I have written previously about the use of home inspectors for buyers seeking to avoid being defrauded on the purchase of real estate.
If you are a buyer, do not simply send a home inspector to the home you wish to purchase and expect that any issues will be discovered with no further effort on your part. Sellers have become good at hiding defects from inspectors. Sellers will frequently leave debris piled up against walls that otherwise would bear obvious signs of water leakage or other defects. Inspectors will not move any item in the house. If a defect is somehow concealed, chances are that the inspector will not find it. The inspector will identify all obstructed areas on his report. It is up to the buyer to demand that all obstructions be removed and arrange for followup inspections.
Talk to the inspector, ask him how difficult it would be to expose common areas. Ask him how common it is for defects to exist in the particular type of obstructed area in the home you are buying.
The inspector's report is only the beginning. A buyer must follow through and make sure that the report is as complete as it can be before the buyer closes on the deal.
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