Home inspections and why you should certainly get one
Most people wouldn’t consider purchasing a used car without having their mechanic give it the once over. Yet, everyday countless home buyers commit to purchasing a home with very little knowledge about the property. They just hope for the best. When you consider that your home purchase will likely be the single largest expenditure that you will ever incur, it only makes sense to have the home you’d like to purchase carefully checked out.
Your offer to purchase should contain the following clause. “This offer is subject to a professional building inspection that is satisfactory to the buyer and paid for by the buyer”. If the home seller balks at your desire to have the home checked out, let that be a warning flag and walk away from the deal. If the seller has nothing to hide there really is nothing to fear in having the home inspected.
Once you’ve gained agreement on this clause begin shopping for a qualified inspector. Take some care in determining which company will inspect your home. The Home Inspection industry remains unregulated. Any “handyman” can claim to be a home inspector. We recommend that you hire an inspector that is a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). These companies conduct their inspections based on the Standards of Practice set forth by ASHI. They carry errors and omissions insurance to protect them and you against overlooked problems.
The home inspector that you hire will visually examine up to 1600 items through out the home to ensure that you know everything you can about the home before you commit to buying it. This knowledge will help you make informed decisions during your purchase, and will provide you with information you need for any maintenance or repairs that your new home may require.
It should be noted that there is no such thing as a perfect home. Home inspections routinely reveal small maintenance issues that should be resolved once you take ownership. You should expect to find some of these items in your report as well. The purpose of the inspection is to protect you against major deficiencies that could be financially devastating. If the inspection reveals these types of problems, you’ll have a way out of the deal. If you still want to proceed you can reopen negotiations with the home seller.
It’s always a good idea to attend the home inspection if possible. Most Inspectors encourage it and welcome the opportunity to help you get familiar with the home. They’ll take the time to ensure that you are familiar with how things operate.
Some inspectors will not only provide you with a complete written report regarding the condition of the property, but will also give you a maintenance manual that will help you to care for your home in the years ahead.
Resist the temptation to save a few dollars by having Uncle Ernie check the place out for you. Imagine how you and Ernie might feel if something major was overlooked. Most homes can be professionally inspected for between $400 and $500. Please, this is one investment that you must make the next time you purchase real estate.