June 23, 2010

Home Inspection Tips: Look before you leap.

Filed under: Property Inspection — Chuck @ 8:22 am

The warm weather months are the prime season for real estate buying and selling, and millions of Americans are busy shopping for homes and finalizing their transactions. Purchasing a home is typically the largest financial transaction of a person’s entire lifetime, and those who realize the American Dream through home ownership want assurance that their home is well constructed so that it can potentially last a lifetime. For that reason it is always highly recommended that before closing on any home the buyer should hire a licensed and qualified home inspector to thoroughly evaluate its structural and mechanical performance.

Here are some tips for ensuring a successful home inspection:

  • Schedule the home inspection as soon as possible after submitting an offer to purchase.  That will allow you enough time to negotiate any potential repair allowances or expenses with the seller. It will also give you time to have repairs or other remedies completed and, if necessary, inspected again before the date of your closing.
  • Attend the inspection, if possible. Being on hand while the inspector examines the home offers you a rare opportunity to ask questions and get valuable home maintenance advice. The inspector can point out particular areas of interest to you and explain any special concerns or issues he or she discovers.
  • Don’t neglect the home inspection process just because you are buying a new home from a developer or builder. Some of the most catastrophic problems with homes have been found in new construction, and if nobody has lived in the home before then there is no one to verify whether or not problems or potential problems exist. A professional inspector knows exactly what to look for – even in the examination of a brand new house – and they will give you a full report to help you make your important buying decisions.
  • Once you receive the inspection report take some time to read through the entire document. Many homeowners simply scan the report for problems and then toss it out or file it away somewhere. But each report contains lots of insightful information about the property. Knowing what the inspector found and described about your home can make you a more informed consumer and a more conscientious homeowner when it comes time for proactive home maintenance.
  • The inspection report also gives you a common reference document that is written in appropriately technical language. That means that referring back to the home inspection report can facilitate clear understandings during discussions about your home with contractors, tenants, insurance companies, real estate agents, and other interested parties.
  • Even if the home has been recently inspected and the current owner shares that official inspection report with you, you should still exercise your right to hire your own inspector. Houses aren’t static, unchanging structures. The condition of a home can change drastically within a very short time, and relying on outdated information – even if it was accurate at the time it was compiled – can be a serious mistake.
  • Before hiring a home inspector, first confirm his or her professional credentials. Each state has its own criteria and licensing or certification system for home inspectors. You want to be sure that yours has the educational and training background required – as well as current and verifiable professional certification.

A professional home inspection is one of the best investments you can make, and it represents just a small fraction of the cost of the real estate purchase. Nobody would risk buying a car without first having it checked-out by a knowledgeable mechanic or other car expert. Otherwise they can end up paying a considerable amount of money for a lemon. But compared to the price of a home, vehicle purchases are relatively minor. Trust the experts before signing on the dotted line and signing up for a long-term mortgage commitment.

Hire the best possible home inspection professional, and then rest assured that you can make a wise, well-informed, confident home purchase. Not only will the expertise of a professional home inspector provide you will valuable insight and information, but it can also offer you invaluable peace of mind and reassurance during the often stressful process of buying a home for yourself and your family.

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