Real Estate

How to inspect a house in winter?

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  • Feb 19th, 2019 12:01 am
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Mar 7, 2008
436 posts
104 upvotes
Leask

How to inspect a house in winter?

So I am about to put an offer.

The problem is snow! is covering the roof, yard, etc. Can't see shingle condition or grading etc...

The owner seems to have taking great care for the house. it was build in 1995.

Any tips? I dont exactly trust inspector but will still hire one...
29 replies
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Nov 28, 2016
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THINKPOD wrote:
Feb 13th, 2019 2:01 pm
So I am about to put an offer.

The problem is snow! is covering the roof, yard, etc. Can't see shingle condition or grading etc...

The owner seems to have taking great care for the house. it was build in 1995.

Any tips? I dont exactly trust inspector but will still hire one...
House inspector is an oxymoron. WE got one done a few months ago, and the stuff they missed boggles my mind. And you only notice it after you live there. And theres nothing to be done. Even some with this coverage that supposed to warranty they work, theres always some puffy pants loophole that gets them out of it
Last edited by WikkiWikki on Feb 13th, 2019 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Newbie
Aug 15, 2018
41 posts
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The inspectors I've previously used cleared the snow off of sections of the roof to check it. A good inspector will have no issues inspecting in the winter. I've worked with some fantastic inspectors - not all are just loud mouths.
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Dec 27, 2009
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I'd take inspector over no inspector any day. Ask your friends or people you trust who they recommend. We got a very thorough one. They can't pick up on everything, but ours noticed stuff we never would have noticed.
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Jan 28, 2007
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WikkiWikki wrote:
Feb 13th, 2019 2:04 pm
House inspector is an oxymoron. WE got one done a few months ago, and the stuff they missed boggles my mind. And you only notice it after you live there. And theres nothing to be done. Even some with this coverage that supposed to warranty they work, theres always some puffy pants loophole that gets them out of it
This is where getting referrals and doing your own due-diligence comes in for finding a reputable inspector worth the money ... after all, it's going to be your largest purchase.
Check out their credentials, and as for referrals from them before hiring them ... never regretted using them on several purchases.
I'd rather be outdoors camping, kayaking, and mountain biking ...
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Chickinvic wrote:
Feb 13th, 2019 3:55 pm
I'd take inspector over no inspector any day. Ask your friends or people you trust who they recommend. We got a very thorough one. They can't pick up on everything, but ours noticed stuff we never would have noticed.
Exactly ... and ask all sorts of questions on the walk thru.
I'd rather be outdoors camping, kayaking, and mountain biking ...
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Mar 27, 2004
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The attic sheathing will tell you if there is moisture.
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Jul 25, 2015
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Make sure to open all exterior doors and windows, even if they are frozen, check for decay and if anything is broken. We didn't open the balcony door as it had snow and frozen stuck and ended up replacing it in the spring due to leak. That was a $4k bill.

The inspector was useless.
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Jul 3, 2011
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THINKPOD wrote:
Feb 13th, 2019 2:01 pm
So I am about to put an offer.

The problem is snow! is covering the roof, yard, etc. Can't see shingle condition or grading etc...

The owner seems to have taking great care for the house. it was build in 1995.

Any tips? I dont exactly trust inspector but will still hire one...
Yes, I have a tip...

You cannot do a full inspection during winter especially in these conditions and frankly there are a couple reasons why people want to list in these conditions so presuming you're using a Realtor, hopefully they're knowledgeable enough to know that the impossibility of winter inspections doesn't just apply to how pools are treated in an offer. If you aren't using a Realtor, consult a lawyer on preparing the offer's conditions, they'll know what to do.
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Jun 7, 2017
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BC
On a related note for home owners who are selling: Make SURE that buyer's inspector is licensed and insured, with both up to date. Insist on seeing these docs and make a copy.
Inspectors can damage your home or themselves and you need to be protected.
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Jojo_Madman wrote:
Feb 13th, 2019 4:23 pm
This is where getting referrals and doing your own due-diligence comes in for finding a reputable inspector worth the money ... after all, it's going to be your largest purchase.
Check out their credentials, and as for referrals from them before hiring them ... never regretted using them on several purchases.
And when theres only so many to pick from then what. We even went with one that had good reviews and a 90 day warranty. The warranty had some many loopholes it was useless.

And a walk through, we asked for one, and the owner was then home and said we couldn't. Right there I should of said, guess you don't get paid then.

Maybe there are good ones out there, but any we have ever seemed to use just find the obvious stuff. If I knew about how the ducts and furnace were setup before hand we may of not bought the place. Their furnace testing was, crank up the heat, oh it fired, it works
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Furcorn wrote:
Feb 13th, 2019 7:18 pm
On a related note for home owners who are selling: Make SURE that buyer's inspector is licensed and insured, with both up to date. Insist on seeing these docs and make a copy.
Inspectors can damage your home or themselves and you need to be protected.
Really when it comes to buying in selling, unless you have a degree in whatever, you will miss tons. They say to use realtors yo cover yourself, what a load of crap. Not one realtor we talked to ever mentioned this

I know on RFD many are perfect, but for the normal people out there, you cant think of everything
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WikkiWikki wrote:
Feb 13th, 2019 7:19 pm
And when theres only so many to pick from then what. We even went with one that had good reviews and a 90 day warranty. The warranty had some many loopholes it was useless.

And a walk through, we asked for one, and the owner was then home and said we couldn't. Right there I should of said, guess you don't get paid then.

Maybe there are good ones out there, but any we have ever seemed to use just find the obvious stuff. If I knew about how the ducts and furnace were setup before hand we may of not bought the place. Their furnace testing was, crank up the heat, oh it fired, it works
Doh! ... owner being home is a big red flag to me.
It has been always my understanding that the owner is not to be around during the home inspection, and I'd refuse to do one until they were off the premises so that we were free to look around and talk.
I've always used the inspection to highlight changes or fixes to be done as part of the completing the deal.

There are always going to be some issues that are not discovered during the inspect, but it's one of the reasons I insist that it's at least 3 hours or no deal. This way there is not rushing thru the home and have time to investigate anything we question.

Even on the brand new multi unit investment property we purchased last year, the inspector and I found several minor issues that needed correcting or changed. I'm also sure there are things that were missed and will show up at some point, but at least we made the best effort possible to mitigate the risks in the purchase.
I'd rather be outdoors camping, kayaking, and mountain biking ...
Deal Guru
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Nov 28, 2016
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Jojo_Madman wrote:
Feb 13th, 2019 7:49 pm
Doh! ... owner being home is a big red flag to me.
It has been always my understanding that the owner is not to be around during the home inspection, and I'd refuse to do one until they were off the premises so that we were free to look around and talk.
I've always used the inspection to highlight changes or fixes to be done as part of the completing the deal.

There are always going to be some issues that are not discovered during the inspect, but it's one of the reasons I insist that it's at least 3 hours or no deal. This way there is not rushing thru the home and have time to investigate anything we question.

Even on the brand new multi unit investment property we purchased last year, the inspector and I found several minor issues that needed correcting or changed. I'm also sure there are things that were missed and will show up at some point, but at least we made the best effort possible to mitigate the risks in the purchase.

They were gone, but then came back because she was needed a shower. She was a real bitch to deal with, guess that's why the house was on the marker for 1.5 years. She refused to budge on anything. Won it in a divorce and wasn't really even living it.

Hind sight is 20/20 and cant go back in time. If we knew of this air balancing issue due to undersized ducts, damn rights I would of used that to get a lower price.
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WikkiWikki wrote:
Feb 13th, 2019 8:11 pm
If we knew of this air balancing issue due to undersized ducts, damn rights I would of used that to get a lower price.
Don't beat yourself up, air balancing is actually quite common issue, and most owners don't even know they have the problem ... even with some new built homes.
I'd rather be outdoors camping, kayaking, and mountain biking ...

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