It's all-too-easy to overlook problem areas when
you're caught up in the excitement of buying a house. Your mind is more filled
with where you're going to put the furniture, than it is on whether or not the
furnace is in good working order. This is where a good home inspection can save
you some trouble.
A trained professional inspector looks at the house with
a cold, critical eye to discover any existing, intentionally obscured defects
or impending problems. Many defects are not visible to the casual observer, such
as a cracked foundation or worn-out plumbing. This is why a thorough pre-purchase
home inspection is such a good form of insurance for the buyer.
Without a home inspection, you have no recourse against
the seller. It is the only thing that stands between you and the seller in negotiating
a fair price. Without the home inspection, you could face thousands of dollars
in repairs that were not disclosed during the purchase process. Ideally, the seller
will offer to repair any problems so the deal will close, or at least agree to
adjust the price to cover the repair costs. This is why adding an inspection contingency
clause in the contract is essential.
Most home inspections cost between
$250 and $500. This is a small price to pay to find problems with the home. According
to statistics from the Federal Trade Commission, nearly 42% of homebuyers face
unexpected repairs in their homes costing an average of $500 after moving in.
More than one in nine is forced to pay more than $1000 for repairs. This puts
the small fee for a home inspection into perspective.
A home inspection includes a total house and property assessment.
The inspector will look at the structure, fixtures and appliances. He will look
for potential hazards and costly repairs. And he will often give advice to you
about maintenance to reduce repairs in the future.
The inspection will take
about 2 to 3 hours. The inspector will perform a thorough visual inspection of
the major systems and components of the structure, roof, interior and exterior
surfaces, as well as the plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical systems. He
will examine the lot grading and look for any signs of water damage or dampness
in the basement. The insulation and ventilation will also be reviewed.
inspector will point out areas of concern and offer suggestions. Always ask questions.
That is what a home inspector is there for. If he finds areas that may need substantial
repairs, he often can offer an estimate for repairs. You may want to verify the
cost of repairs with local contractors before agreeing to that amount with the
seller. You don't want to be caught short when the repairs are done.
you may be most concerned with the architectural details, wall and floor coverings,
modern conveniences and many other factors in your buying decision, the focus
of the home inspection is on the structural/mechanical/electrical condition of
the property. The inspection is designed to give the real estate agent and buyer
a concrete, unbiased way to detect some of the readily accessible major flaws
or deficiencies in the significant components and systems of a home. However,
be aware that a home inspection isn't guaranteed to detect all of the flaws and
problems that might exist in any given home.
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