The final steps are falling into place and you are getting ready to move into a new home. But before you get too excited you need to hire a professional home inspector to verify the structural integrity of the home as well as any defects that might end up costing you a great deal of money later on. This is possibly the most expensive purchase of your lifetime, and unlike some expensive things, you will probably not have a simple return policy. A good home inspector can mean the difference between enjoying the home of your dreams and spending the rest of your life trying to get rid of a difficult financial burden.
Basic inspections will include close examination of a property’s heating and cooling, plumbing, electrical systems, attic space, crawl space, roof, insulation, walls, flooring, windows, foundation, basement, ceilings, and grounds. When a knowledgeable person examines these things, they can find problems that may not be apparent now but might turn into a disaster down the road. When an inspector examines a home, they will do a full report, in writing, of their findings. If major issues do indeed exist, the buyer may then negotiate how to handle this with the seller. The buyer of course has the ability to walk away, or negotiate. This might result in the seller giving a better sale price or even offering to pay for the repairs prior to the new owners moving in.
Most offers on real estate properties have a contingency clause to protect the buyer from such unseen problems. For example, a clause might state that the offer can be rescinded if the inspector finds $10K or more in damages or defects in the home. Homes with structural problems may end up costing tens of thousands of dollars to repair, which is why home inspectors are so valuable. You may have seen MLS listings that say “pending inspection,” which is exactly the stage the property is in. A potential buyer has made an offer that has been accepted by the seller, and both parties are waiting on the inspector to assess any defects the house might have.
It is important to hire a professional inspector that is certified by the American Society of Home Inspectors. This denotes that they have performed at least 250 inspections and have passed two, difficult proficiency exams. These inspectors are required to follow standard practices, continual education, and a general code of ethics. When it comes to ethics, you might also steer clear of agency favorites. These inspectors are usually favorites because they don’t spoil too many sales and keep things moving along. Take the time to find the right inspector and pay them well so that you can rest assured that your home buying decision will be a good one. A few hundred bucks can save you and your family from a host of headaches and financial trouble.