Buyers become do-it-yourself home inspectors

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Dear Barry, We're buying a new home and are on a very tight budget, so we've decided to do our own home inspection. We've already gotten some pointers from friends and would like some professional advice as well. Please let us know what important things we should look for when inspecting our new home. –Kari Dear Kari, Asking a home inspector to advise you in the conduct of your own inspection is as ill-conceived as asking your family doctor to instruct you in the performance of your own physical examination. In either case, the number of maladies to be considered exceeds all levels of anticipation, and the knowledge required to discover and evaluate this wellspring of possible defects requires years of full-time exposure. Consider but a few examples: Acting as your own home inspector, you must open the electric service panel and determine whether there are any wiring violations. You must walk the roof surfaces to determine the condition of the roofing material, the flashing a...