When buying an expensive dress or suit,
most people are careful to ensure there are no buttons missing or
seams loose, and that its made of a quality fabric.
This is easy enough to do. Buying a home is no different,
except that few of us are equipped with the know-how to ensure that
the plumbing, electrical, heating and other major systems are working
as well as possible.
Also, after months of house hunting
for the perfect home, it can be difficult to set emotions
aside and really see the kind of shape the place is in. Problems,
which are not always easy to spot, such as bad plumbing, a shaky
foundation, poor insulation and a damaged roof, can turn your dream
into an expensive nightmare.
Thats why it pays to make a home
inspection a condition of your offer to purchase, whether your lending
institution insists on an inspection or not. Before approving
financing, some lenders require you to hire a qualified home inspector
to go over the inside and outside of the house you want to buy.
This ensures there are no major structural flaws that will threaten
the security of their investment.
Its a precaution every prospective
buyer should take. One of the most important aspects of purchasing
a home is knowing the condition of the property in advance.
Knowing the structural flaws and maintenance problems that may creep
up on you will help you make a more informed decision about the
value of the home you plan to buy and any future costs.
Some buyers will pay to have a property
inspected even before they put in an offer. This way, if they
decide they want the house, they can come in with an unconditional
offer. But at an average cost between $200 - $400 for a home
inspection, this can get expensive.
During an inspection, the home will
be thoroughly evaluated from top to bottom. All major systems
such as plumbing, heating, insulation, electrical and structures,
such as the roof, walls, ceilings, floors windows and doors, will
be inspected and examined.
An inspection generally lasts about
three hours. It will not tell you the condition of every single
component of the home, but will focus on determining potentially
large expenses and safety-related concerns. Most inspectors
dont mind if the prospective buyer tags along. So, this
is also a great opportunity to learn about any major problems first
hand and find out ways to keep your future property in good condition.
Following the examination and evaluation,
the prospective buyer will be provided with a written report which
covers possible defects and areas of concern, as well as estimated
costs for any repairs. The report may also note some of the
positive features of the home and recommend ways to keep it in good
Interview a number of home inspectors
or inspection companies before you begin house hunting so you know
who to call when you need them. Find out how long theyve
been in business. Ask for references and proof of membership
in professional associations, what the inspection will cover, the
cost and if there is any guarantee. The cost of an inspection
usually varies depending on factors such as size, age and location
of a home.
Just because a home was recently built
doesnt mean that it is free of flaws. The quality of
construction can vary from builder to builder and sometimes mistakes
do happen. Even if the home you want to buy is still under
warranty, it pays to have an inspector find the problems before
you move in.
Inspecting a home is no different than
having a mechanic inspect a used vehicle. If it makes sense
to check out a car, it makes sense to check out a house worth many