ALWAYS Get a Professional Home Inspection Done
An examination of your new home before the house is bought can avoid costly surprises after it is sold.
National statistics show that more than 40% of all previously owned homes on the market have at least one serious defect. If you are a homeowner, you can attest to the face that virtually every “used” home needs some type of repair. Home Inspections are designed to assist both the home buyer and seller in making in the most expensive investment decisions of their lifetime by identifying and therefore avoiding concerns that could cost thousands of dollars to correct.
If you are in the market as a seller, you want to avoid concerns that may cause a buyer to “walk away.” If you are a buyer, you want to make sure that you are aware of any major deficiencies in a house so that you can take the repair costs into consideration as part of the purchasing decision. Your real estate contract should provide for the repair or replacement of serious defects and should include an “inspection contingency clause,” says William Walker of M&M Home Exteriors.
If you decide to make an offer before receiving an inspectors report, insist that the contract state that you may withdraw this offer and recover deposit or earnest money if the inspection reveals something in the house that is considered unsatisfactory. Most problems in a house can be repaired.
However, the repair cost is often a surprise to the individual who has no previous experience in this matter. These unexpected expenses often mean the family has to postpone other planned expenses or find additional financing – a chore that is often unattainable when financing a new home purchase.
A comprehensive home inspection is a visual examination of the conditions of the house existing at the time of the inspection. It will indicate what is working and what is not, and will define serious and costly defects. It will give you a top-to-bottom evaluation of all the components and systems in the house and will pinpoint any problems that will require immediate attention.
A thorough inspection will take approximately 2½ hours to complete, and is usually done in the presence of the potential home buyer. It covers all the systems in the house: heating, cooling, plumbing, electrical, and the structure (foundations, windows, walls, ceilings, and floors), and of course, the inspection includes the roof, gutters, and downspouts. Typical inspections cost between $250 and $450 and are well worth the investment.
Serious and costly defects are rarely so obvious that the buyer will spot them in a casual walk through with the real estate agent or the home owner. Professionally trained home inspectors know what to look for and have the tools to conduct thorough inspections. They are impartial and often assist in making recommendations that can improve the various operating efficiencies of the home as part of their services.
Older homes come with their own set of problems and many are unapparent to the untrained eye. Buyers often feel cheated when they discover a major concern (flooded basements hidden by new paint; rotting floor hidden under new plush carpet; leaking roofs; furnaces that need to be replaced; etc). Buyers need to be aware of what they are getting before making a commitment they might regret.
It makes sense to know exactly what kinds of repair and maintenance costs might be associated with home ownership. Do yourself a favor and hire a professional home inspector.