If you’re like us, you scour consumer reports, customer reviews and surveys before purchasing everything from a new car to a new smartphone. So, why wouldn’t you do the same before making one of the biggest investments in your lifetime — a house?
Though some homebuyers are put off by the idea of having to pay out of pocket for one, a home inspection by a qualified home inspector is an excellent way to make sure your home investment is sound one. A home inspection will provide you with a review of all major structural components and operations systems of your potential new house. If there are any issues, a quality home inspection will identify these prior to closing.
This protects you, the buyer, in a few ways. One, you’re better prepared for the headaches of having to pay for repairs later down the road, should you choose to purchase the home. And, if repairs are needed, you have written proof and can request that the seller make the changes before you purchase or give you credit for repairs you’ll make after the purchase. Of course, if the seller refuses, you have the right to walk away from the offer without penalty.
Before the big day of the inspection, you should have already done your homework and found a professional, certified home inspector. Be sure to block out a few hours on the day of the inspection. Your professional home inspector will use this time to thoroughly inspect all areas of the home, including the foundation, attic, basement, exterior walls, garage, electrical systems, appliances and more, for the following:
- Mold and dampness
- The safety and usability of the roof
- Water pressure, drainage issues, septic system backups, corroding pipes and other plumbing issues
- The home’s structural components (cracks, rotten joists, worn-out roof tiles, external flaws, etc.)
- General wiring and age/functionality of electricity panel
- Heating, cooling and ventilation problems
- Proper functioning of appliances (dishwasher, range and oven, smoke detectors, etc.)
- Potential pests (rats, mice, termites, radon, etc.)
Shortly after the inspection, you’ll receive a written report detailing any issues, suggested solutions and, in some cases, estimated costs for repairs. It’s important to understand that the inspector will NOT pass judgments about the home’s value, or whether or not you’re getting a good deal. The inspector is there to simply report the facts on the home’s condition. Ultimately, the decision is yours. But, having a quality inspection can help make the decision a lot easier.
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