What Should You Expect in a Home Inspection? - A home inspection is an important part of the buying process that all buyers should invest in before they get the keys to a new home. Even though it is not required by law, an inspection can save you thousands of dollars by identifying problems that are not necessarily seen with the naked eye.
But what exactly are you getting when you pay an inspector to come into your home-to-be?
First off, be careful not to confuse a home inspection with an appraisal. Your appraisal will determine the value of the home, while the inspection will determine the stability of the home in its current condition. The inspection will alert you to any current problems or any problems that you may run into in the near future. Everything will be done by a certified home inspector who specifically looks for any problems that might not be blatantly-obvious during your walk-through.
What is your inspector looking for?
He’ll start by checking out the HVAC system to make that it’s working properly. From there, he’ll move onto the house’s structure, the foundation, the electrical system in the home, the plumbing, the roof and any other installed systems in the home. Home Inspectors may differ in their services and although most will definitely check these things, it’s important to thoroughly discuss what is included in the service before hiring the inspector. Even though it’s a thorough process, it’s completely non-invasive, and it won’t cause any damage to the home.
It’s important to note that home inspectors typically don’t check for termites or mold. Luckily, though, good inspectors will alert you of anything suspicious they discover during the process. After the home inspector finishes all of his work, he’ll type up a written report of all his findings. This report will tell you all about the current condition of anything in the home that needs repair, and it typically focuses on things that could be big expenses down the road.
Because the inspection essentially only benefits the buyer, the buyer pays for the home inspection. Although the typical cost of $300-500 may seem like an annoyance right now, it’s something you can’t afford to skip. Not only will it alert you to any potential problems, but it can also be a very valuable negotiation tool.
After you receive the findings of the inspection, it’s up to you what you do with them. Should there be anything troubling in the report, you’ll have to decide how to proceed. You can ask the homeowner to fix the problem, or you can use those findings to negotiate down the price. In some cases, you may discover such a major problem that you won’t want to proceed with the purchase at all. (In fact, a good realtor will tell you to make your offer contingent on the home passing an inspection!)
A home inspection is an important part of the buying process. Even if the home turns out A-OK, you’ll get valuable peace of mind about your new home. And, if things don’t go so well, you may be able to save a ton of money on future repairs.
So, how do you find a great inspector to look at your home?
You can find a qualified and certified inspector in your area by visiting the American Society of Home Inspectors’ website at www.ashi.org.
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