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Home Inspection

Buying A Home In The South? A Home Inspection Is A Must!
by Mike Manosky © 2006, All Rights Reserved

Any Realtor® will tell you that getting a home inspection from a qualified professional is an extremely wise idea regardless of where you live. However, if you’re purchasing a home in the south, you’ll want to be especially careful to look for certain elements. Because of weather patterns in and around my area (Huntsville, Alabama), for example, real estate listings can sometimes require a repair or two.

All homes in the southeast region of the United States have likely lived through weather conditions similar to those in Huntsville. Real estate listings here are subjected to higher levels of humidity than other areas of the country. We can also be affected by heat-induced thunderstorms during summer months that may produce high winds and hail. A qualified home inspector will be able to walk you through what this might mean with regard to a house you’re purchasing. In addition to the usual points of inspection, be sure to ask about the following.

Humidity and Wood

Constant humidity may cause wood windows and doorframes to swell or warp. This may mean that gaps or checks in the wood could develop, causing the windows and doors to be less energy efficient. Likewise, from the contraction and expansion of the wood over time, doors and windows may also become difficult to open.

Your home inspector will also want to investigate the attic of the home you’re buying to ensure the wooden structure is in good condition. Extreme heat and humidity in the summer months of the year can possibly create cause for concern in this area of the house as well.

Wind and Roofs

Summer in the south often brings wind in a variety of ways. Heat-induced thunderstorms is one source, and hurricanes and tornados are others. While not near the coast, Huntsville real estate could still suffer the effects of high winds, even though we don’t typically get hurricanes this far inland.

When wind becomes a factor, roofs can sometimes be damaged. Your home inspector will want to pay close attention to the roof of the home you are considering. Is it in good condition? Do any shingles need to be replaced? Are there any signs of water damage or leakage?

Heating and Air

The heat also plays a factor with heating and air-conditioning units in the south. With highs that can exceed 100 degrees in summer months, air-conditioning units get a real workout. Maintenance of these units is a must to ensure they work properly. Ask to see the history of the unit and also secure a letter from a qualified heating and air conditioning company that states the unit is in good working order.

No one wants to move into a new home only to be faced with a list of unexpected repairs. Taking the time to hire the proper inspection professionals can save you a lot of money and stress in the future. A small investment up front can help ensure you’ll be able to enjoy your new home for years to come.