Home Appraisal Concerns

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Are you thinking of selling your house or taking out a mortgage? It would be to your advantage to have your house appraised and in most cases for a mortgage, it is a requirement. A property inspection is part of the appraisal process.

What does an appraiser look for during this process? The primary areas of inspection are the roof, the foundation, lot grade, ventilation, mechanical systems, heating, electricity, and crawl spaces (when present).

The primary concern of appraisers is the health and safety of the homebuyer who will actually live in the house. Thus, most of the appraisal / inspection checkpoints have to do with health and safety aspects of the property. Above all, the home must be habitable and comfortable, without any potential hazards to the occupant.

The lot should be graded in a way that prevents moisture from entering the basement and/or foundation. In other words, the lot should be sloped to allow water to drain away from the house — not toward it.

All bedrooms should have egress to the exterior, for reasons of fire safety. A bedroom window will suffice, as long as it’s large enough to allow egress.

Many homes built before 1978 still contain lead-based paint, which is a potential health hazard. In these homes, the appraiser will check for damaged paint (peeling, chipping, etc.). Such conditions must be corrected.

All steps and stairways must have a handrail for safety. This is a commonly cited discrepancy during appraisals.

The heating system must be sufficient to create “healthful and comfortable living conditions” inside the home.

The roof should be in a good state of repair and must keep moisture from entering the home. It should “provide reasonable future utility, durability and economy of maintenance.”

The foundation should be in good repair and able to withstand “all normal loads imposed” on it.

If you have any issues with some safety aspects in your house especially regarding moisture in the basement or foundation, steps and stairways, and moisture in the home, call Westside Company to schedule a thorough inspection at 310 994 4626 and get your house appraiser-ready.