The Operating Systems, Lower Level, Interior and Exterior Inspection sections are EXTREMELY condensed versions of those found in our home inspection book: Home Inspection Business From A to Z
Real Estate Appraisers are not required to be home inspectors. However, I will include these sections anyway to give you some basic details about home inspections.
Drainage and Grading
The soil next to the foundation should slope away from the house to prevent any rainwater from building up next to the foundation. Usually the soil only needs to slope 1/2 inch for every foot away from the house to properly drain the water accumulations. All bushes, shrubs and trees should be pruned away from the side of the house. This will allow enough sunlight and air next to the foundation to help prevent rot and wood destroying insect problems.
If the house is at the base of a hill there should be a catch basin to prevent water problems. These are large concrete underground drains. Both you and the client must check with the local building department to figure out if the house is located in a designated flood hazard zone. If it is, then flood hazard insurance will be needed.